Category Archives: economic news

How about sharing credit, POTUSes 44 and 45?

Barack H. Obama and Donald J. Trump are arguing over who deserves the credit for the nation’s booming economy.

Trump keeps hogging all the credit. Obama is reminding us that Trump inherited an economy on the upswing.

Trump says the tax cut has spurred job growth. On his watch, the unemployment rate is at historic lows, job growth is booming, as is the stock market.

Oh, but Obama says the nation’s economic stimulus package approved not long after he took office has spurred much of the growth. The nation has been on an upward climb since 2011.

I know this won’t happen. Ever! How about the men sharing the credit?

Why won’t it happen? Obama and Trump are politicians of different political parties. They obviously detest each other. Trump fomented the Big Lie for years about Obama’s place of birth. Obama has recently taken the gloves off with Trump, calling him out by name in his attempt to help Democrats get elected to Congress in the 2018 midterm election.

I am inclined to side with President Obama. I know: no surprise there. It’s just that Donald Trump has continued to speak untruthfully about the nature of the economic recovery and about the base line he inherited. He calls the economy a “disaster,” which it clearly wasn’t when he took office.

My hope is a futile one. Still, it’s good to remember that when our Special Forces took out Osama bin Laden in May 2011, the then-president — Barack Obama — made sure to spread the credit to where it was due. He praised the anti-terror work done for many years across two administrations, Republican and Democrat.

Is there that kind of sharing to be expressed these days with a relatively robust economy? Hah! Hardly.

Socialist? Why, I never …

I’ve been called out by a critic of High Plains Blogger.

Some fellow who I don’t know, but who reads my blog regularly, has called me a “socialist.” He likens me to U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer as a socialist in their ilk.

Hmm. I need to respond to this guy.

I’ll start with this: He doesn’t know what a socialist is. A socialist is someone who believes in, um, socialism. And what is that, precisely?

Socialism is an economic philosophy that emphasizes collective ownership of business and industry. Let’s see. Have I ever advocated taking over business and industry by the government? Have I ever said that private ownership is bad for the country? No. I haven’t.

To that end, I am as much of a capitalist as this fellow who purports to know — beyond a shadow of a doubt — that I am a true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool socialist.

I tend to avoid getting involved in these tit-for-tat responses on social media. For starters, many of High Plains Blogger’s critics tend to suffer from last word-itis. They have to get the last word on any exchange. So, I concede the last word to them. I’ll make whatever point I want to make, let ’em respond and then I move on.

As for the socialist rap, this individual hung that label on me after a blog post that didn’t discuss economic policy at all!

I believe, therefore, many of those who hang the “socialist” tag on folks such as yours truly are using the word as  cudgel to beat others up whenever they disagree with them on any policy at all.

To call someone a “socialist” is akin to saying “your mother wears combat boots.”

When in doubt, I rely on my tattered American Heritage dictionary, which describes socialism this way: “A social system in which the means of producing and distributing goods are owned collectively and political power is exercised by the whole community.”

Is that me? Umm. No. It isn’t. So there.

How do you say it in, oh, Mandarin?

Donald J. Trump has been facing this scrutiny ever since he rode down that escalator at Trump Tower and declared his intention to “Put America First” while campaigning for the presidency of the United States.

Reuters News Agency reports that the Trump re-election campaign has getting its “Keep America Great” banners from a factory in the People’s Republic of China. The Trump team denies it. Reuters stands by the story.

I am going to go with Reuters’s version of events.

You see, Trump and his team have demonstrated repeatedly their ability to lie to our faces. They’ve done so on almost any and every issue under the sun. They get away with it in the eyes of the “base” that continues to support the president.

The Hill reports: Manager Yao Yuanyuan told Reuters that she was worried Trump’s own tariffs would hurt production numbers, but said she did not know if the banners’ buyers were officially affiliated with the Trump campaign or the GOP.

Yao said her factory has been making Trump banners since the president was a candidate. 

There have numerous reports ever since Trump entered the rough-and-tumble world of politics about Trump-brand clothing being made offshore. Trump hasn’t denied it categorically. So, there’s a history of his using foreign labor to manufacture items with his name on them.

Should it surprise a single person that he would do so with the re-election campaign banners? Hah! Not even …

Some perspective, please, on GDP numbers

Donald J. Trump is damn proud of the Gross Domestic Product report given this week, showing the economy grew at an annual rate of 4.1 percent.

Good news, yes? Sure it is! It’s even great news! But hold on, Mr. President. It ain’t “historic,” as you contend.

And, in fact, the rate of growth might not last, thanks to the trade war the president has launched with, oh, Canada, Mexico, China, the European Union … and maybe even the outer planets of our solar system.

As CBS News is reporting, the president didn’t inherit a “fixer-upper economy.” He took command of an economy in good condition. It has been on an upward spiral for, oh, the past eight years.

However, the president yet again took pains to disparage the growth rate during the Obama administration years. And, as is the norm, the criticism of President Obama’s handling of the economy was incorrect.

As CBS News noted: While Mr. Trump praised the 4.1 percent annual growth rate in the second quarter, the economy exceeded that level four times during the Obama presidency: in 2009, 2011 and twice in 2014.

The latest numbers are quite good. There’s no mistaking it. Are they sustainable? The trade war impact on various economic sectors will reveal that in due course.

In the meantime, the president and his team — who gripe about Trump Derangement Syndrome afflicting their critics — should check their own vital signs to see if they can ever shake their Obama Derangement Syndrome symptoms.