Credit Obama for roaring economy, blame Trump for deficit surge

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Give credit where credit is due. The Donald knows a good thing when he sees it, and knows how to play it to his advantage.

Example: President Obama’s budget that set the pace for a continuous strong and growing economy. His last budget kept on giving well past its expiration date of Sept. 30, 2017. It stayed active through five temporary budget reconciliations until a final package passed by the Republicans on March 23, 2018, a bonus for the Trump administration as for the Obama budget kept giving through the first 15 months of Trump’s first term that saw the economy stay strong and continue to expand.

The stock market reached its high of 19,827 in 2016, and 149 percent gain after starting at 7,949 in 2009 with 103 months of continuous growth. During this same period, unemployment dropped from 10.3 percent in 2009 to 4.7 percent within all working groups showing improvement, i.e. blacks, Hispanics — 16 percent to 8.4 percent and 12.1 percent to 5.7 percent respectively.

Also, under President Obama the debt to deficit ratio was reduced from 9.8 percent in 2009 to 2.4 percent in 2015, a condition soon to be reversed by a $2.4 trillion deficit produced by the Republican/Trump budgets of 2018 and 2019. Doesn’t look much like a revenue-neutral budget as promoted.

During this time, The Donald was not idle, as Obama’s economy continued to progress. He was working diligently to turn back Obama’s achievements in health care, international trade, environment protection and protection of our democratic democracy from foreign entities like Russia. Trump achieved little or no completion of his 10 promises for his first 100 days in office, such as: Repeal and simultaneously replace Obamacare.

Now faced with a dire need to do something big in 2017, Republicans turned to their go-to -play — tax cuts, via the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. There lies their mortal tale.

The new tax law cuts corporate tax rates permanently, and individual tax rates temporarily — good old trickle-down. Removing the individual mandate key provision of the ACA is sure to raise insurance premiums and reduce the number of people with coverage by some 25 million. Over all this, it raises the federal deficit by $2 trillion over a decade and is expected to reduce revenue by $10 trillion over the decade.

The Trump tax cuts have yet to appear. Corporations flush with cash from lower tax rates, and the trillions already in reserve, are being used by corporate America to buy back their own stock and pay dividends. Eighty-four percent of stock in today’s market is being held by 10 percent of the wealthiest. Increases in wages and the bonuses now being paid out by corporate America are done to hold on to their most skilled employees for the lack of available skilled labor. The “...Jobs Act” to date is not creating new jobs as we were told by the Trump administration. Overseas jobs are not coming back.

William T. “Nick” Smith