After the bombast
The Trump presidency has, underneath governing by Tweet, measurable outcomes that often seem to hide under the barrage of noise that conceals, denies and discourages fact-based analysis. There is a reason for that madness.
President Donald Trump on economic growth:
“I see no reason why we don’t go to 4 percent, 5 percent, and even 6 percent.”
Except, even with a $1.5 trillion donor tax cut, 2018 saw only a 2.9 percent growth, equal to the Obama GDP growth of 2015. And, while the growth promised has not happened, the deficit has hit a record high in 2018 of $891.3 billion, a 12.5 percent increase for the year.
Trump said he would “balance the budget fairly quickly,” while, in fact, he created huge deficits into the foreseeable future.
Trump’s trade policies, if they can be construed as policy, have resulted in the highest trade deficit in history, $621 billion in 2018, with the Chinese trade deficit growing to $419 billion.
In the meantime, our trade agreement with Mexico and Canada remains in limbo, not approved by the Senate, and our disagreements with Europe on trade continue. Americans are paying more for washers and dryers and the Trump tariff wars have hurt U.S. farmers and consumers to the tune of $3 billion per month.
Trump promised to save the coal industry, but did he? Of course not.
2018 saw coal consumption at the lowest in 40 years. Coal jobs remain stagnant at 50,000 and coal-fired energy plants continue to close with the loss of 14.3 gigawatts in 2018 alone.
The coal industry is dying because coal is no longer price competitive, and Trump’s promises could have never been met.
Trump promised a Great Wall in 2016, but one paid for entirely by Mexico. The outcome?
No Mexican wall payment is ever to occur, and no Republican Congress would ever support a wall, as evidenced by the Republican Congress in 2016-2018.
Trump made great promises about the auto industry.
“If I’m elected, you won’t lose one (automobile) plant, you’ll have plants coming into this country, you’re going to have jobs again, you won’t lose one plant, I promise you that,”
Trump said in October 2016 at a campaign rally in Warren, Mich.
Tell that to the 14,000 General Motors workers now out of a job. In 2016, the last year of the Obama presidency, the auto industry added 30,000 jobs. In 2018 the industry was projected to add 8,600 jobs before the GM downsizing.
On immigration the Trump administration has only one accomplishment, the separation of children from their parents and the caging of those children by the thousands. The Trump border success is in creating a humanitarian crisis on the southern border that approaches a violation of international law in the treatment of asylum seekers.
Candidate Trump also promised, if elected, all 11.3 million illegal immigrants would “have to go.” And, while he has been entirely unsuccessful in this inhumane campaign, it is not through lack of effort by an ICE agents passionate about their work to destroy lives of productive people who simply seek a better life.
Trump operates by the “shiny object” theory of governing. Keep your eye on the shiny new Tweet and ignore the failures of policy and the false promises made.
Pierce Brown said, “Liars make the best promises.”
It is hard to ignore the application to the Trump presidency.
Jim Crawford is a retired educator, political enthusiast and award-winning columnist living here in the Tri-State.
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