Wednesday, 18 October 2017 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG
  • Trump's First DC Circuit Nominee Thinks Waterboarding Can Be Okay

    Gregory Katsas has been picked to fill a vacancy on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the only appellate court with nationwide jurisdiction.

  • Steve Bannon's Armageddon

    William Rivers Pitt of Truthout: Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is fomenting a "revolution" against a number of Republican officeholders, and against the Republican party itself, with President Trump as his unspoken partner.

SUPPORT MEDIA THAT DOESN'T SELL OUT

The stories you read here are published thanks to our readers -- not corporate sponsors or advertisers.

We need your help to continue this essential work. Will you support boldly independent journalism today?

Click here
to donate.

The Trump Economy Myth and Job-Killing Policies

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 By Dave Johnson, Campaign for America's Future | Op-Ed
  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size
  • Print

Making America Great Again; every time a US company hires a hundred people, or even a dozen, President Trump's support network blasts out the message that this is what he's doing. Now they're crowing that unemployment fell to 4.5 percent in March, even though many say this number underrepresents how many people are actually out of work.

Only 98,000 jobs were actually gained in the month, about half of what economists had expected. And even if these new jobs are something to crow about, it's not as if they have anything to do with Trump.

Propaganda is one thing, but Trump's actual policies will hurt job and wage growth once they kick in.

Obama Momentum

Remember when President Obama had been in office a few months, and the fiscal year 2009 deficit was reported to be $1.4 trillion? Right-wing propaganda outlets showed charts drawn to convey that the 2009 budget deficit was his fault.

The 2009 fiscal year budget ran from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2009. Obama's first budget year began the following month. The 2009 budget deficit wasn't an "Obama deficit," is was a Bush deficit. Obama did not have time to do anything. For the same reasons, the 2017 economy, and any health it has, is still Obama's.

In fact, when Obama DID do something this is what happened:

2017 0412graph

That job reversal was the result of actual policies put in place by Obama, not Republican propaganda.

Propaganda, Not Policies

Like almost everything Republican, the Trump administration is almost entirely about propaganda, not actual, rubber-meets-road policy. Healthcare is the best example of this. After years of propaganda opposition to Obamacare, Republicans had no actual coherent, alternative policy plan to put forward, and were unable to come up with one when the opportunity came for them to do it. The actual policies they finally came up with would have caused 24 million Americans to lose their healthcare.

Propaganda might achieve a propaganda goal, policies get actual things done.

As of today, there is no real Trump economic policy in place. He has submitted a ridiculously extreme budget proposal. He has proposed to "study" trade. He has no real "trillion-dollar" infrastructure plan -- his budget proposal actually cuts infrastructure spending -- and his tax "reform" plan does nothing more than give corporations and wealthy people huge breaks.

Actual Trump Policies Undercut Jobs and Wages

Trump's actual policies will undercut job and wage growth. Right off the bat, Trump's budget proposal would eliminate as many 200,000 federal jobs.

Trump is trying to reverse the "overtime rule" that increases the salary threshold for receiving overtime pay from $23,660 per year to $47,476. This rule is a big deal and would mean that would immediately boost the pay of 12.5 million workers, if Trump allows it to go into effect. Even with the rule the percent of workers who are eligible for overtime pay would still be lower than it was in 1975.

Trump's executive orders also undercut job and wage growth. He has removed protections against wage theft and rights violations by federal contractors, affecting one in five workers.

Another example of actual Trump policies affecting jobs is in the energy sector. Calling climate change a "hoax," Trump wants to promote oil and coal jobs at the expense of wind and solar jobs. But the US solar power industry now employs more workers than coal, oil and natural gas combined. He wants to gut the auto fuel economy rules, undercutting opportunities for renewable-fuel companies like Tesla to innovate.

Stocks Up but Trump Economy Is a Myth

The stock market has risen under Trump; Tomahawk missile-maker Raytheon stock just went way up. Cruise missile strikes aside, bumps like these aren't based on economic fundamentals or sound projections, but instead on the expectation of windfalls for corporations and the already-wealthy stock-owning investor class through the huge tax cuts Trump has promised.

But beyond momentary market gains,  the idea of a booming Trump economy is a myth -- at least for people who work. There are no actual policies, existing or on the horizon, aimed at actually boosting jobs and wages. Only bluster. In fact, Trump has said we need to reduce American wages to the point where we can be "competitive" with Mexico and China. Yes, he said that.

His executive orders so far undercut jobs and wages. His budget eliminates jobs. His dramatic cuts in the things government does to make our lives and economy better -- education, scientific research, regulation, etc. -- will eat the seed corn of our future prosperity.

Trump does not offer real policy, only the propaganda of the moment, to be reversed at the next moment if convenient.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson (Redwood City, California) is a fellow at Campaign for America's Future, writing about US manufacturing, trade, and economic and industrial policy. He is also a senior fellow with Renew California.

Dave has more than 20 years of technology industry experience, including positions as CEO and VP of marketing. His earlier career included technical positions, including video game design at Atari and Imagic. And he was a pioneer in design and development of productivity and educational applications of personal computers. More recently he helped cofound a company developing desktop systems to validate carbon trading in the US.

GET DAILY TRUTHOUT UPDATES
Optional Member Code

FOLLOW togtorsstottofb


The Trump Economy Myth and Job-Killing Policies

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 By Dave Johnson, Campaign for America's Future | Op-Ed
  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size
  • Print

Making America Great Again; every time a US company hires a hundred people, or even a dozen, President Trump's support network blasts out the message that this is what he's doing. Now they're crowing that unemployment fell to 4.5 percent in March, even though many say this number underrepresents how many people are actually out of work.

Only 98,000 jobs were actually gained in the month, about half of what economists had expected. And even if these new jobs are something to crow about, it's not as if they have anything to do with Trump.

Propaganda is one thing, but Trump's actual policies will hurt job and wage growth once they kick in.

Obama Momentum

Remember when President Obama had been in office a few months, and the fiscal year 2009 deficit was reported to be $1.4 trillion? Right-wing propaganda outlets showed charts drawn to convey that the 2009 budget deficit was his fault.

The 2009 fiscal year budget ran from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2009. Obama's first budget year began the following month. The 2009 budget deficit wasn't an "Obama deficit," is was a Bush deficit. Obama did not have time to do anything. For the same reasons, the 2017 economy, and any health it has, is still Obama's.

In fact, when Obama DID do something this is what happened:

2017 0412graph

That job reversal was the result of actual policies put in place by Obama, not Republican propaganda.

Propaganda, Not Policies

Like almost everything Republican, the Trump administration is almost entirely about propaganda, not actual, rubber-meets-road policy. Healthcare is the best example of this. After years of propaganda opposition to Obamacare, Republicans had no actual coherent, alternative policy plan to put forward, and were unable to come up with one when the opportunity came for them to do it. The actual policies they finally came up with would have caused 24 million Americans to lose their healthcare.

Propaganda might achieve a propaganda goal, policies get actual things done.

As of today, there is no real Trump economic policy in place. He has submitted a ridiculously extreme budget proposal. He has proposed to "study" trade. He has no real "trillion-dollar" infrastructure plan -- his budget proposal actually cuts infrastructure spending -- and his tax "reform" plan does nothing more than give corporations and wealthy people huge breaks.

Actual Trump Policies Undercut Jobs and Wages

Trump's actual policies will undercut job and wage growth. Right off the bat, Trump's budget proposal would eliminate as many 200,000 federal jobs.

Trump is trying to reverse the "overtime rule" that increases the salary threshold for receiving overtime pay from $23,660 per year to $47,476. This rule is a big deal and would mean that would immediately boost the pay of 12.5 million workers, if Trump allows it to go into effect. Even with the rule the percent of workers who are eligible for overtime pay would still be lower than it was in 1975.

Trump's executive orders also undercut job and wage growth. He has removed protections against wage theft and rights violations by federal contractors, affecting one in five workers.

Another example of actual Trump policies affecting jobs is in the energy sector. Calling climate change a "hoax," Trump wants to promote oil and coal jobs at the expense of wind and solar jobs. But the US solar power industry now employs more workers than coal, oil and natural gas combined. He wants to gut the auto fuel economy rules, undercutting opportunities for renewable-fuel companies like Tesla to innovate.

Stocks Up but Trump Economy Is a Myth

The stock market has risen under Trump; Tomahawk missile-maker Raytheon stock just went way up. Cruise missile strikes aside, bumps like these aren't based on economic fundamentals or sound projections, but instead on the expectation of windfalls for corporations and the already-wealthy stock-owning investor class through the huge tax cuts Trump has promised.

But beyond momentary market gains,  the idea of a booming Trump economy is a myth -- at least for people who work. There are no actual policies, existing or on the horizon, aimed at actually boosting jobs and wages. Only bluster. In fact, Trump has said we need to reduce American wages to the point where we can be "competitive" with Mexico and China. Yes, he said that.

His executive orders so far undercut jobs and wages. His budget eliminates jobs. His dramatic cuts in the things government does to make our lives and economy better -- education, scientific research, regulation, etc. -- will eat the seed corn of our future prosperity.

Trump does not offer real policy, only the propaganda of the moment, to be reversed at the next moment if convenient.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson (Redwood City, California) is a fellow at Campaign for America's Future, writing about US manufacturing, trade, and economic and industrial policy. He is also a senior fellow with Renew California.

Dave has more than 20 years of technology industry experience, including positions as CEO and VP of marketing. His earlier career included technical positions, including video game design at Atari and Imagic. And he was a pioneer in design and development of productivity and educational applications of personal computers. More recently he helped cofound a company developing desktop systems to validate carbon trading in the US.