I recently saw a poll which suggested that while the majority of the American electorate disapprove of Donald Trump’s tenure in the Oval Office so far, they have a more positive outlook when it comes to his handling of the economy. It immediately struck me that the snake oil salesman has hoodwinked people again, as Donald Trump will certainly not be blessing for the US economy when everything is said and done.
It’s not like we didn’t know what we’d be getting with a President Donald Trump before the election. The billionaire stated his intentions very clearly, making headlines for pledging to put in place controversial policies, such as banning Muslims from entering the US, imposing a tax against firms who outsource work away from the US and engaging in what basically amounts to a trade war with China.
And the American people clearly didn’t approve of Donald Trump – even as they elected him! Exit polls indicated that a considerable portion (61%) of the electorate disapproved of Donald Trump, although when it came to Trump’s ability to handle the economy, his numbers were slightly better. The loud-mouthed real estate mogul won because a) many Americans distrusted his rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, more than him and b) they believed he would boost the US economy and consequently, their job prospects.
Any ideas that people had that Trump would become more Presidential after he was elected, were quickly dispelled when he entered the Oval Office. The opening few months Republican’s first term have seen him aim to implement some of the worst of his policy ideas, from rolling out two (court blocked) Muslim plans and initiating his plan to build a wall on the border with Mexico, to putting out a ridiculously bad healthcare plan, which didn’t even make it past the GOP-controlled US House of Representatives.
And naturally, public perceptions of Donald Trump haven’t improved. According to The Daily Mail, a new poll shows that 58% of Americans disapprove of Donald Trump’s performance as President, illustrating that the property mogul hasn’t been able to change the minds of his critics. However, about half (50%) approve of the way he’s handled the economy, probably because of his recently released budget, his actions to penalise businesses who outsource work and his ‘record’ of running successful businesses – which in and of itself is misleading, as Trump has declared corporate bankruptcy quite a few times, so he can’t be a particularly good corporate leader.
There are several other reasons why the idea that Trump is good for the economy is a myth. Let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room – yes the US economy has grown since Trump destroyed my hopes for humanity by becoming the US President. But not only are we living in a period of general, if subdued, global economic growth, meaning the recent expansion of the US economy isn’t anything out of the ordinary, it’s too early to tell if this can be attributed to Trump, as his policies haven’t had time to take effect.
Then there’s the popular myth that conservatives (ideologically) are good for the economy, because they lower taxes and reduce business regulation. Trump is a classic Republican in this mould, preaching the virtue of ‘trickle-down economics,’ which argues that if you give tax cuts to the rich, this wealth will trickle-down to the rest of us, due to increased spending. Trickle-down economics has been debunked time and time again, yet people still don’t get it. The rich and businesses just find new ways to squirrel away their money when they get tax cuts instead. As US Senator Bernie Sanders is so fond of saying, when talking about the recent economic recovery, the benefits of said recovery were accrued mostly by the very rich, in part because of their criminally low taxes.
And Trump’s recently-scrapped tax plans, which pledged to reduce the business tax rate to a measly 15%, were estimated to deprive billions from the US economy. This is because there would have been less cash in the US government’s coffers to spend on vital services, such as infrastructure development and education, decreasing the quality of life for normal Americans which yes, would have an impact on the overall US economy. Apparently, news source Daily Kos writes, the President’s new tax plans are even worse than his old ones, so the economy could really suffer under Trump’s leadership.
Finally – let’s discuss the ‘bringing jobs back’ issue. Yes, Trump has made a small amount of headway here, but his promise to bring back millions of jobs for normal Americans are as false as his pledges to improve life for all Americans. What many people are failing to realise, is that the reason that jobs are disappearing isn’t just that they’re being outsourced, but that they’re being automated, so companies can cut costs. The rising tide of the digital revolution isn’t set to ebb away any time soon, so there’s only going to be more automation in future, resulting in more job losses.
Ready for change
A lot of people believe that Donald Trump will be good for the economy, because he is both a ‘successful businessman’ and a Republican outsider. He is in fact neither, as his business record is abysmal and he has named several of the most prominent insiders in the corporate world, such as former ExxonMobil (now Secretary of State) Rex Tillerson to his cabinet. Donald Trump is as bad for the US economy as he is for the country’s immigrant population, and the sooner the US people wake and and smell this distinctly unpleasant coffee, the better things will be for all of us.