Hold on there, let’s shine some light on President Donald Trump’s claim that economic growth, “is better than it has been in many decades.” Brookings Institution begs to differ. This false and misleading claim by Trump can be counted among the 10,000 other prevarications since the Washington Post began the count.

Brookings says, “Trump’s record so far falls somewhere between unremarkable and substandard.” And, “Trump … bests (only) the four presidents who faced recessions in their first year in office, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. Trump’s other five predecessors came to office, as he did, during economic expansions. Among them, he’s tied for last place: Real GDP growth under Trump over the three quarters has lagged Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lyndon Johnson and John Kennedy, and tied George H.W. Bush …”

That accounts for much of Trump’s claim of “many” decades. Presidents have some but not all responsibility for the business cycle. It is likely even Trump’s mediocre contribution to economic growth is not expected to last. Brookings reports that “Trump’s middling record on GDP and investment raises the question of how much longer the current expansion, now just two months shy of entering its tenth year, can last.” The current expansion started in 2009. Only one expansion since 1945 has lasted 10 years.

Some call prevarications lies, and President Trump’s lies will likely double during this long period leading up to the next election.

 

Jim Chiddix

Waterville


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