Perhaps the most frequently cited argument Donald Trump leans on to convince people he should be reelected is the performance of the stock market and the economy during his presidency. He is anxious for the America people to examine those factors when deciding who to vote for in November. And they really should. Because if they actually do he’ll be in big trouble.
Contrary to Trump’s relentless assertions that the economy is booming, there were significant weaknesses that are present and getting worse. The manufacturing sector is currently in recession. Consumer spending and industrial output are declining. The GDP grew at a measly 2.3% in 2019, far below Trump’s promised 6%. Wage growth is down, and the only upside was due to the increases in the minimum wage implemented in Democratic states, and opposed by Trump and the GOP.
So based on that record of abject failure, Fox News is getting behind Trump’s cheerleading and rooting for the bad guys on the economic playing field: Wall Street. The stock market has never been an accurate indicator of economic health. It merely represents what institutional investors think about the valuation of equities, which fluctuate independent of the broader economy. The economy, on the other hand, is comprised of many other factors such as consumption, employment, wages, trade, and inflation.
Most Americans do not own stocks, either individually or in retirement plans, such as the 401Ks, that Trump is always bragging – falsely – are making everyone rich. He did this again just this week. But on Friday’s episode of Fox & Friends on Fox News, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes invited Fox Business host Charles Payne to rail on Democrats, saying that “There’s no clear, good candidate on the Democratic side.” He then went on to malign them all for not garnering support from Wall Street, as if that’s a bad thing:
“If you listen to the policies and here on Wall Street, you don’t really want to put a lot of money into any of these candidates. They’re telling you they’re gonna attack your wealth. Wall Street loves Donald Trump.”
Fox Business host Charles Payne: "Wall Street loves Donald Trump. … The market wants President Trump in office." pic.twitter.com/2IxxhLUxOs
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) February 14, 2020
Indeed! Wall Street does love Trump. That’s because he panders to them in every way imaginable. His tax cuts for corporations, his termination of regulations that protect workers and the environment, and his constant complaints about the Federal Reserve not lowering interest rates (which would have an enormous benefit for him personally), are all major pluses for big business.
Why Fox News believes that touting Wall Street’s love for Trump is a positive thing for his reelection is puzzling. The majority of Americans have not been looking for Wall Street’s favorite candidate before making a voting decision. They do not value Wall Street’s endorsement. Has anyone ever heard of a candidate boasting support from Goldman Sachs? But on Fox News this was presented as something that would excite average Americans. And the glassy-eyed in-studio audience of Trump cultists obediently applauded the comment.
For the record, this has not always been the position taken by the Trumpists. During the 2016 campaign Trump tried to label Hillary Clinton as being “owned by Wall Street.” But now that Trump is in the White House and his policies are propping up the upper crusters, he is all for being Wall Street’s puppet.
However, even in this regard Trump underperforms. The stock market growth under President Obama exceeded that of Trump, but Obama didn’t have to employ short-term trickery like tax cuts or deregulation to succeed. He just managed the country’s affairs in a responsible manner that produced organic, sustainable growth. Trump, on the other hand, is presiding over a sandcastle economy that is heading for a major recession. And that’s something that Trump himself recognized prior to his political career when he said that “I’ve been around for a long time and it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans.” Here he is in his own words:
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.