Experts predicted economic Armageddon under Trump — where are they now?
The economy is strong, unemployment is low and wages are rising, according to the latest economic data released Friday, which is in stark contrast to what the vast majority of elite economic opinion predicted just a few years ago from a Trump presidency.
The latest unemployment report has joblessness at 3.6%. Where is the Trump Armageddon Squad now?
What’s even more egregious is that the same folks predicting the end of the world refuse to provide sane analysis of radical proposals dribbling out of the mouths of the Democrats. They report on Medicare-for-All, the Green New Deal and college debt forgiveness as if these cockamamie ideas will have no impact on the economy.
First some full disclosure: While I was never a naysayer in the camp of Paul Krugman, I was never fully aboard the Trump economic train. I worried about his occasional dumb, offhand remarks on finance — he once blurted out he could renegotiate debt payments without understanding it was a form of default, which would lead to massively higher interest rates and lots of bad stuff to follow.
I continue to worry about his trade policies; while it’s fine to call out China for its bad behavior, going to trade war with the world as Trump sometimes suggests will lead to higher unemployment and inflation. Sometimes it seems Trump doesn’t understand that US manufacturers need Chinese buyers.
But I have read enough economics from the likes of Milton Friedman and F.A. Hayek (and yes, those great economists who put it to practical use such as Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan) to know there was plenty good in the Trump plan that he ran on back in 2016 and continues to propose today.
That’s why unemployment is where it is: Cutting taxes on individuals and businesses often propels economic growth because people — not inefficient governments — make the best decisions about where to allocate capital. And I said as much on these pages both before and after Trumps presidency.
Job growth surged in April, unemployment rate falls to 49-year low
Not so for many of my fellow pundits. For example, if you relied on the Washington Post just a month before Election Day 2016, you would think the economy was on the brink of disaster. “A President Trump Could Destroy the World,” screamed one headline from its editorial page, which predicted economic collapse because of Trump’s nationalist trade policies, ignoring, of course, he was proposing one of the largest fiscal stimuluses in years though his tax plan and deregulation.
Politico wrote that “Wall Street is set up for a major crash if Donald Trump shocks the world on Election Day and wins the White House,” in a piece citing various economists.
These geniuses believed a day of market volatility when it seemed like Trump might beat Hillary Clinton was evidence that stocks wouldn’t recover once the massive corporate tax cut from a Trump presidency kicked in (which is exactly what happened after futures sold off on election night).
No list of bad calls on the Trump economy would be complete without mentioning the not-so-sage words of The New York Times in-house economist and columnist Krugman.
It wasn’t too long ago that Krugman won the Noble prize in economics, which is startling given this bizarre post-Trump election prediction: “So we are very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight. I suppose we could get lucky somehow. But on economics, as on everything else, a terrible thing has just happened.”
What school of economics was he following? Krugman doesn’t really say even as he continues to spew dreck predicting a severe economic collapse that never seems to come.
Again, we all make mistakes, and even a few of the Trump doubters such as entrepreneur Mark Cuban (famous for tweeting, “In the event that @realDonaldTrump wins, I have no doubt in my mind that the market tanks”) have more recently owned up to theirs.
The vast majority haven’t. Even worse they have ignored the revolutionary dumb economics of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and other Democratic candidates, who if in the driver’s seat, would really steer the economy and the markets over the cliff.