In December, Trump took responsibility for the last 8 years of economic growth. He literally heralded himself as the reason that Holiday spending was around a trillion dollars. He also credited his own election with bringing hope to the world. Sadly, he missed the fact that the spending this year was actually in line with averages since 2013. Oh, and that the Market has been on the upswing since 2008. Even more glaring is the level of despair that his election has caused. Though that isn’t quite as easy to quantify as the egregious misstatement of his role in Obama’s economic recovery and American’s holiday spending.
The world was gloomy before I won – there was no hope. Now the market is up nearly 10% and Christmas spending is over a trillion dollars!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 26, 2016
Let’s take these points one at a time, in reverse order. The last point is that Christmas spending is “over a trillion dollars.”
It would seem that Trump believes that suddenly, people who had been hiding money under their mattresses are spending it hand over fist just because he was elected. He has done nothing that could have affected income for the American people, not yet. For him to have increased holiday spending that would mean that either people had money they weren’t spending or that they suddenly had new disposable income.
Neither happened, in fact, the Holiday spending in America is consistent with the range since 2013. Nothing “new” occurred, nothing improved suddenly, nothing is leaping off the charts — but, Trump is claiming that is all because of him. The fact is that before the recession hit, Americans spent on Average 900 dollars on gifts, and are still spending over a hundred dollars less.
From Gallup, Holliday spending:
Gallup’s November measure of U.S. holiday shopping finds Americans expecting to spend an average $752 on Christmas gifts this year. That is down from an expected $830 in spending during the 2015 holiday season, but matches the average for the last seven years, since 2010.
The National Retail Foundation was projecting that holiday sales will be up 3.6 percent. One trillion dollars represents a 3.6 – 4 percent increase in sales from 2015. Another incremental gain that was earned with hard work and a damn good president at the helm.
Market up 10 points! Because it has been going up for 10 years…
A picture is worth a thousand words, so they say. So, here is the last ten years of the market going up. Despite a few stumbles, the line goes up, and up and up. I don’t recall a single time that President Barack Obama declared himself the hope of the planet because of these mountains. If he had, the right wing would have lost their collective minds. Yet, before he even gets into the office, before he has ANYTHING real to do with the economy, Trump said: “The world was gloomy before I won, there was no hope.”
Trump’s election has caused “unprecedented despair” (should that read “unpresidented?“) among people who voted against him. And that number, mind-blowingly, is larger than the number of people who voted for him. Suicide hotlines set records after his election. This isn’t normal, people aren’t “nervous,” they are terrified. David Horsey, a very well known political cartoonist, said it best:
This time it is different and, in my experience, unique. This is not simply a case of Hillary Clinton supporters being bad losers. For most of those who feel traumatized by what happened on Nov. 8, this is not about the candidate who won the popular vote, yet lost the election. It is about the candidate who was picked as president by the electoral college on Monday. People are mourning because the fate of their country will now be in the hands of an intellectually uninterested, reckless, mendacious narcissist.
The world is holding its breath. Our country is split down the middle, roughly, between jubilant self-congratulations at throwing a grenade into our political process and a quagmire of fear and regrets. This is not an atmosphere of hope, it is the triumphant blindness of the bully’s gang. Instead of trying to bring us together, this man acts as if 25 percent of the country voting for him gave him a blank check, a mandate to rule.
Nothing like the delusional, narcissistic, ignorant silver-spoon brat stepping in at the last minute and claiming the success of his predecessor as his own. It took 8 years of care to rebuild to this point. Our economy is delicate, new growth is usually not very hardy. Donald Trump’s tweet showed us clearly, he is a toddler being given a house of cards, we know what comes next.
Featured image via Flikr