Unbeknownst to most everyone encased in the Beltway bubble who dismissed his candidacy, characterized him as a showman, and some combination of stupid and evil, Donald Trump ran for president on one of the most bold and exhaustive reform agendas ever proposed by a presidential nominee.
Promises to achieve what a succession of career politicians refused or failed to do abounded in Trump’s 2016 campaign. And while the Wall took center stage, and his promise to appoint constitutionalists to the Supreme Court led many right-of-center voters to warily pull the lever for him, it was Trump’s audacious assurance of three to four percent economic growth and a dramatically improved outlook on jobs that represented the actual centerpiece of his campaign. After all, you can’t make America great again without a strong economy.
Considering that he had the political and media establishment crosshairs aimed at his heart from the moment he arrived in the swamp, think about where Trump would be if the economy had tanked and unemployment had gone up. He would undoubtedly be a one-term president.
But with 263,000 jobs added in April alone — continuing a trend of impressive employment figures in virtually every month since he took office — on top of the lowest unemployment rate since we landed a man on the moon (3.6%), wages up 3% in just the last month plus 3.2% economic growth in the last quarter, Trump has put the No. 1 issue in every peacetime presidential election squarely in his column.
Until recently, with the wind at their backs by virtue of the 22 month-long Mueller investigation and countless ad hominem attacks on the great disrupter, the left and the media succeeded in changing the subject from the economic success of the Trump presidency. But with Mueller all but in the rear-view mirror, spinning or ignoring this story is now almost impossible with a presidential election campaign underway. Even for a Trump-deranged media that has all but renounced its journalistic creed and replaced it with unceasing, unapologetic propaganda designed to take down this president at any cost.
Amid this swampocracy depicting the president as a mean-spirited, unrepentant racist and right-wing extremist, it is easy for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to promise free college for everyone, or for Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) to propose reparations for the descendants of slaves, or for any number of candidates to support the insane Green New Deal, knowing none of these policies has any chance of becoming law in the foreseeable future. But it is quite another thing to promise that you will generate a booming economy and become the greatest jobs president the country has ever seen. That is a core promise on which you will be scrupulously judged by voters.
Ah, but therein lies the difference. Trump actually meant what he said. Everything about him emitted an undeniable aroma of confidence, a sense that he honestly believed he could close the deal on what he was promising. After all, why else would he decide to run? Having secured the three Fs — fame, fortune, and family — in enviable measure, and knowing the level of hatred and derision certain to be directed at him, he could have run for only one reason: to do the things that needed to be done that career politicians refused to do.
Indeed, Trump set himself apart from the succession of permanent politicians he mowed down by saying things nobody else would say and promising things no one else could deliver.
And before you start with the wall and Obamacare (ACA) repeal, two major Trump promises as yet unfulfilled, remember that, unlike every other Republican who made empty promises of stopping illegal immigration, Trump has been willing to take it to the mat and fall on the sword with his declaration of a national emergency. And Obamacare would be in the dustbin of history already were it not for Trump’s sworn establishment enemy John McCain, whose last public act was to kill the ACA repeal by his one vote.
Despite being weighed down from day one of his presidency by the preposterous charge that he was a Russian asset, Trump sent forth the word that after years of a painfully slow recovery from the great recession, America was once again open for business. The America-first climate he has engendered, the game-changing tax reform bill, and the most aggressive deregulatory scheme in American history have combined to produce this roaring economy, record-low unemployment across the board, and soaring consumer and business confidence.
The cascading effects of a fulsome economy overflowing with new employment opportunities — now more numerous than the people available to fill them — have been well documented. Jobs are at the heart of any economic upturn. It’s not rocket science; when more people work, productivity necessarily increases, crime is reduced, and Americans become less dependent on the welfare state. Best evidence of this is that, since Trump took office, more than four million people have been lifted from food stamps. Oh, and the stock market has risen by 40%.
Absent an unexpected recession between now and November 2020, the issue of whether Trump has delivered on his boldest and most significant promise has been settled. Even the nattering nabobs of negativism can’t deny the success of Trumponomics. So who will the voters believe: the bloodthirsty forces arrayed against the president intent on diverting attention from this robust economy, or their own lying eyes?
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