Student Report: Grading the Trump Economy

donald trump at rally

In the second quarter, the U.S. Gross Domestic Product grew at a phenomenal rate of 4.1 percent. President Donald Trump announced “We are on track to hit the highest annual average growth rate in over 13 years.” Although this number is significant, Trump’s critics contend that GDP isn’t the only determining factor for economic success. Fair enough, however, this exceptional GDP growth rate is just one of many positive economic signs under the Trump administration.

GDP Grade: A

The 4.1 percent GDP growth rate in the second quarter demonstrates that Trump’s economic agenda of lower taxes and regulations is working. Since the recession of 2008, the U.S. GDP quarterly growth rate has only reached the 4 percent benchmark a handful of times. Under Trump’s predecessor, President Obama, the annual GDP growth rate never exceeded 3 percent. With the latest, the U.S. economy is on pace for at least a 3 percent growth rate in 2018. In fact, the U.S. is now the first nation in world history to boast a $20 trillion economy. Furthermore, consumer confidence is booming, the Consumer Sentiment Index is near its all-time high. 2018 is far from over, and many economists predict the best is yet to come.

Stock Market Grade: B+

Since Trump took office, U.S. stock markets have reached all-time highs. To date, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has soared 27 percent (over 7,000 points) since Trump’s election victory. Recently, trade policies have stalled the upward trajectory of the U.S. stock markets, but if recent breakthroughs with the European Union on tariffs are the harbinger of things to come, then the U.S. stock market might soar even further. The long-term success of the U.S. stock markets depends on a variety of factors and policies. Hopefully, Trump will continue to make progress negotiating free and fair trade deals, thereby increasing U.S. exports and decreasing the costs on goods imported to the United States.

Unemployment: A-

The unemployment rate under Trump’s administration has fallen to 3.9 percent as of April, the lowest since 2000. Additionally, the U-6 unemployment rate, which includes discouraged and part-time workers seeking full-time employment, has dropped from 9.3 percent in November 2016 to 7.6 percent as of May 2018. Overall, the unemployment rates for minorities are at record lows, particularly for Blacks and Hispanics. Although liberals downplay these positive trends, they cannot deny that Trump’s pro-business policies are not successful. Trump’s efforts in cutting taxes and slashing regulations have led small businesses overwhelmingly support Trump’s free-market agenda. Trump’s business-friendly and commonsense economic measures are a welcome relief for business owners after years of crushing regulations and uncertainty.

Job Growth: A+

“Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone,” Trump stated at his State of the Union Address in January 2018. This staggering number indicates that under Trump, the U.S. economy has been a jobs-creating machine. In May, employers added more than 223,000 jobs, 50,000 more than predicted. Mining jobs have soared, increasing 2.7 percent, to levels unheard of since 2008. At this rate, Trump will surpass his last three predecessors in median jobs created per month. Moreover, many part-time and underemployed workers are seeking new jobs, confident that a better opportunity awaits them elsewhere. If anything, employers are struggling to fill the ballooning number of jobs that are being created. Trump’s success in this area of the economy cannot be understated; he has simply done a superb job.

Overall, Trump has achieved essential milestones in making the American economy great again. Although, as always, there is room for improvement, Trump has proved his commitment to providing real answers for the United States’ economic problems. If Trump continues to promote free-market solutions such as deregulation and tax cuts, the United States will assuredly maintain its position as the world’s economic leader.

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Liam Sigler is a student commentator at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia.

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