John Avlon on Trump’s Claim on ‘Best Economy in History’: Not True; ‘Wall Street Is Not Main Street’

‘No, Trump did not have the strongest economy in history’


AVLON: "Best in history, right? And if you break it down quarter by quarter, Trump’s real GDP before the pandemic looks a lot like Obama’s. It would appear that Trump is conflating his world’s greatest economy with gangbuster stock market results hitting record highs even during the pandemic. Here’s the thing, folks. Wall Street is not main street. Get this. 10% of Americans own 87% of the stock market. And nearly half of Americans don’t own any stock at all. All right, lightning round. Best unemployment rate before the pandemic? 3.5 percent. Which is really impressive. But not as impressive as 1953 when it was 2.5%. Hourly earnings, up 3.4% under Trump, but up 3.7% under Obama. Manufacturing — despite Trump's cheerleading the American factory worker, there's a good chance that worker is out of a job today because manufacturing hit a decade-low under Trump's stewardship. How about coal jobs? President Trump promised to save the coal industry but the coal industry is off 25% this year with at least 5,000 fewer coal mining jobs and more coal-fired plants set to close in Trump’s term than in Obama’s second term. Finally, let’s look at deficit and debt, which fiscal conservatives used to campaign about. They are historically breathtakingly high, set to exceed the size of the whole U.S. economy next year. No, Trump did not have the strongest economy in our history, not even close. And that’s your reality check."

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