It’s the economy, stupid
“It’s the economy, stupid” was the catch phrase of the 1992 presidential campaign. Does the phrase still hold true today?
The Pew Research Center’s July 27-Aug. 2 survey of U.S. adults revealed the economy is the top issue—out of 12—for the 2020 election. Voters feel Donald Trump (Rep.) leads Joe Biden (Dem.) on that topic as well as on four other issues: handling violent crime, gun policy, immigration and reproductive rights.
However, Biden is the best presidential candidate on six of Pew’s 12 issues: health care, future Supreme Court appointments, managing the COVID-19 pandemic, resolving race and ethnic injustice, dealing with economic disparity and working on climate change.
Americans are deadlocked on who is best to deal with foreign policy.
With the economy being the top voter-driven issue and the Standard and Poor’s 500 stock index setting a record high on Aug. 18, one could assume the election is over in Trump’s favor. What does the S&P 500 represent and who does it serve?
According to The New York Times (Aug. 19), the stock market is betting on the economy 12-18 months from now. There’s been a run-up in the value of six big technology companies, investors want to be in-the-game when a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, cash and bonds are losing value and investors are betting Congress’s dysfunctionality will soon end with more COVID-19 relief funds.
Gallup’s March-April 2020 poll reveals only 55 percent of Americans own stock in some manner.
Maybe the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would be a more inclusive and better measure for understanding America’s economy as related to the presidential election.
According to Princeton University’s revered economists Alan Blinder and Mark Watson’s 2016 research, “since 1947, when quarterly GDP numbers began, real GDP growth rose every time a Democrat replaced a Republican in the White House and fell every time a Republican replaced a Democrat. No exceptions.”
Since 1947, real GDP grew by 18.6 percent during a typical Democratic four-year term but only 10.6 percent during a typical Republican term.
It’s ironic—but important to know—that while the Constitution assigns power over the budget to Congress and not the president, since 1947 there was no GDP growth rate dependent on which party controlled Congress. Who holds the presidency does matter.
Therefore, understanding Trump’s economic track record is important; very important.
Trump has handed us double-digit unemployment (~$3 trillion cost), world record setting coronavirus outbreaks and deaths per capita with no national strategy (Trump knew of the pandemic on Jan. 3; ~$1-2 trillion cost), China-Canada-European Union trade war debacle (~$1.3 trillion loss), tax cut (~$2.3 trillion loss) and ~$6.6 trillion of new federal debt.
(A stack of one trillion one dollar bills measures 67,886 miles high.)
Let’s not forget Trump’s 2016 presidential election promise was to balance the federal budget and create four percent economic growth? It’s a paradox that “promises made, promises kept” is Trump’s re-election platitude.
For individuals who still feel the stock market is the best barometer of America’s prowess, Ed Finn, former editor of Barron’s Financial and Investment News, writes in the conservative Wall Street Journal (Aug. 11) during Biden’s term of office, “there is reason to believe that the total return on stocks, including reinvested dividends, will average about 10 percent a year; even 15 percent or better.”
Longitudinal research and evidence is replete electing Joe Biden as our 46th president will increase America’s GDP, which is—hands down—the best predictor of economic growth. Period.
Meanwhile, let’s register to vote, study all of the issues, don’t get hoodwinked by partisan Twitter disinformation statements, conspiracy theories, foreign election intervention and radical TV news programs and VOTE.