Trump: Giving Credit and Blame Where Due

Whether you agree or disagree with Trump, it’s important to keep the record straight and give credit and blame where due.

February 19, 2018

By: Bobby Casey Managing Director GWP

Trump blame creditThere are die hard Trump supporters and equally staunch Trump detractors, but both sides are blinded by their deep seated sentiments and are giving him credit or blaming him for things he hasn’t done.

It’s amazing how many political hacks have no concept of a timeline; as if each president gets to start over rather than inherit the conditions laid out by their predecessor. Talk to some liberals, you’d swear time started at George W. Bush… with FDR some mythical archangel they pray to in times of economic hardship. Talk to some conservatives, and time started at Ronald Reagan.

Not that it will do any good because people are committed to their own biases, but for those who even so much as give a hat tip to cause and effect, let’s set at least some of this record straight.

  • Black unemployment is down… THANKS TRUMP!
    No. Black unemployment is down… and has been trending downward for the better part of nearly ten years. This is no truer than Obama taking office and the tides receding or Al Gore inventing the internet. Black unemployment has since spiked back up soon after the claims were made. Stop ascribing supernatural powers to presidents! They are just people… and often the very worst among us.
  • The stock market is controlled by the POTUS
    No. He’s not responsible for its rise or fall. Traders are responsible for that. And the traders are making term based decisions and investments based on SEVERAL factors, including but not limited to legislation and political trends. But to say that Trump controls the DOW goes beyond over simplification.If a president wielded such massive control, you’d see a steady rise or steady fall of entire presidential terms in the stock market. And you never see that. It’s constantly in flux.

If Trump or his supporters want to give him credit when the sun shines on either of those things, then when they inevitably shift, he gets the blame. It’s not to say that the president, in conjunction with congress can’t pass policies that would create favorable market conditions that could ultimately foster lower black unemployment or a rise in the DOW on a long enough timeline, but at least take the time to zoom the lens out and check the trends leading up to the claims. But let’s keep going:

  • Trump’s tax plan lead to the closing of several large retailers.
    We covered this before Trump was a glimmer in America’s political eye. Sears, Kmart, Toy ‘R’ Us, Macy’s, and Sam’s Club saw the writing on the wall for their respective closures for at least a decade if not longer. The tax plan was passed in December. The closures happened shortly after. No way the tax plan had sufficient time to affect those decisions one way or another!The decisions to close those locations were made months if not years before they actually closed. Had Trump’s corporate tax cuts been implemented ten years ago, arguably some of these locations might not even have closed at all. But Trump’s tax cuts can’t make up for poor business planning on the part of corporations. No legislation can make up for the poor choices of private entities.
  • Trump made it easier for the mentally ill to get guns!
    No. The only thing even baring a slight resemblance to this claim is: “A year ago, Congress and Trump eliminated a proposed rule that would have included in the federal government gun background database people who received disability payments from Social Security and received assistance to manage their benefits due to mental impairments.”You can’t deny people a right without due process. And this isn’t a free pass for the insane asylum to go out and buy a gun. That people are actually drawing some irrational link between this and the recent Florida shooting is in very poor taste.

So is anything Trump’s responsibility? Of course. There’s plenty of good and bad to go around. The important thing is to organize all this into appropriate bins.

  • Trump’s tax cuts triggered economic response… some good, some bad
    The good news is, many corporations responded to Trump’s tax cuts by issuing bonuses to their employees. That was great to see! The bad news is, his federal level tax cuts triggered tax hikes in some places: Louisiana in particular.  “Louisiana income tax laws are linked in the state constitution to federal income tax policy. When federal income taxes go down, state income tax payments automatically go up — and vice versa. This happens without the Louisiana governor or state lawmakers taking action.“In total, Louisiana residents are expected to pay about $226 million more in state income taxes annually as a result of the federal tax law, according to state fiscal estimates.”

    We can agree that Trump isn’t responsible for Louisiana’s constitutional glitches. But we can hold him accountable for capping SALT deductions which will preclude many residents of Louisiana from deducting that increase.

  • Trump-onomics has numbers soaring!
    Regulations and taxes are the lowest they’ve been in decades! I have NO problem applauding that. Some notable deregulation includes: Net Neutrality, abolition of financial penalties on the individual mandate of the ACA, redefining what qualifies as “federal waters” (a major win for private property rights), and a repeal on the $7.2 billion Clean Power Plan.The one area that hasn’t seen a cut is spending. And that’s a problem: a very BIG problem. Because that means deficits and debt are also soaring.   This alone will undo whatever good he stood to do with his tax cuts and deregulation.
  • Trump is putting America first!
    Is he? His protectionism has resulted in some adverse global response:
    15% drop in soy exports and 11% drop in chicken and corn exports.
    Hikes in steel tariffs will raise costs in American manufacturing and construction affecting millions of American workers for the sake of 140,000 steel workers.
  • Trump is draining the swamp!
    Is he though? His cronyism suggests otherwise. He wasn’t sure if overturning or suspending the Jones Act was a good idea in the wake of a massive hurricane touching down and decimating Puerto Rico because US shippers didn’t approve.His tariffs aren’t just protectionist, but also cronyist in that some of that was meant to specifically benefit certain companies like Boeing. Delta was offered a sweet deal from Canada’s Bombardier for a style of plane Boeing doesn’t even make! Boeing lobbied, and now there are tariffs. Doesn’t matter that it hurts the smaller competitors in the airline space.Trump even tried to prop up unsuccessful coal companies, but was shut down even by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Credit and blame where it is due. In the age of social media and online news, it’s easy to get carried away. But it’s equally easy to check if these things are truly attributable to Trump or not.

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