There are a lot of claims making the rounds on the internet about the legacy left by the Trump Administration. Some of the claims peaked my interest so I did some research to contextualize them in terms of President Trumps four years in office. This process always helps me discern the efficacy of the statement or claim as presented. Maybe this will be helpful to you as well. So here are the claims and my brief responses.
- A gallon of gasoline today costs only a $1.80.
- To put that in context the average cost of a gallon of gas in 2016 when Trump was elected was $2.14, in 2017 it cost $2.42, in 2018 it cost $2.72 and in 2019 it cost $2.60. The plunge in price during 2020 was caused by the worldwide drop in demand because people were “sheltering at home” to avoid getting or spreading the pandemic coronavirus.
- 30 year mortgage rate has dropped to only 2.45%
- A average 30 year mortgage in 2016 was 3.65%, in 2017 it rose to 3.99%, in 2018 it rose to 4.54%, in 2019 it dropped to 3.94% and in 2020 it dropped to 3.62% until the pandemic caused the bottom to fall out of the housing market which caused the mortgage rate to drop to the present average of 2.45%. –www.freddiemac.com
- During the 2020 election process the NYSE closed at a healthy 27,848.
- In 2016 the stock market average closing was 17,927, in 2017 it rose to 21,750, in 2018 -it rose to 25,046, in 2019 it rose to 26,379 and the average close YTD in 2020 is 26,372. All in all an impressive growth rate.) –www.macrotrends.net
- USA GDP growth for the 3rd Quarter of 2020 was 33%
- To understand GDP quarterly growth percentage you have to understand that percentage is the annualized growth rate (as if it applied to 12 instead of 3 months) the applied as the percent of annualized growth in the 3rd Quarter over the annualized percent of growth in the 2nd Quarter. To put this into context this 33% is a historic jump for one quarter. However the percent of growth is historic not so much for its amount as for its cause. The almost complete shut down of our economy in the 2nd quarter was being reopened in the 3rd quarter. Assisting that reopening was the purpose of the CARES stimulus package. Put all that together and you realize that the 33% growth was a good sign but since it only references the 2nd quarter in reality the GDP rate of growth is still 10% under what it was in the 1st quarter at the beginning of the pandemic. –www.macrotrends.net
- President Trump claims he built the greatest ever US economy prior to the coronavirus outbreak and that now it’s recovering faster than ever.
- The economy was doing well prior to the pandemic – continuing a trend which began during the Obama administration – but there have been periods when it was much stronger. Since the historic economic contraction caused by the pandemic the economy has bounced back strongly but not faster than ever as it has a long way to go to reach pre-pandemic level. –https://www.bbc.com
- Employment for all races was at an all time historical high prior to the pandemic.
- Indeed, the unemployment rate among Black workers was the lowest ever, although it was still double that of white workers.-https://www.rand.org
- There were no new wars during Trump’s presidency.
- Although we continued during his entire term as President to wage the longest war in our history it is true that Trump joins John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama as presidents who did not start any new wars during their administrations.-www.USAToday.com
- The housing market is stronger than it has been in over 20 years.
- The US housing market rose 5.4% in 2016, 6.3% in 2017, 4.1% in 2018, 2.5% in 2019 and 4.7% YTD in 2020. The US housing market is very strong now but it was even stronger in 2006 and 2014. So the housing market is the strongest it has been in over 5 years more truthful than claiming it is stronger than it has been in 20 years.-www.globalpropertyguide.com –www.ceicdata.com
Although there are other claims about and by the Trump administration, such as the claim that they have “ended the covid19 pandemic”, but I’ll let someone younger who is not still quarantined by the covid19 pandemic contextualize that one.
Why did I do all this research and why am I posting it here. One reason is simply that I’m retired so I have the time to do it. Another is that I’m good at and enjoy research. And last but not least I am sick and tired of undocumented half truths and untruths being posted on social media as fact. Once these claims are in the wild and go viral they further build up the partisan walls that divide us.
Do I think this will stop it? Not really, heck if a half dozen people read this it will be one of my more successful posts! But it sure felt good to dissect a few of these claims to see if they are true, half true, or misinformation. I’m sure that some who read this will conclude that I hate President Trump. To my shame I must admit that after the contentious election campaign of 2016 I did hate him or at least the public image of him. I repented of that sin and can say with a clear conscience that I do not hate either President Trump or citizen Trump. He still scares the hell out of me and I still find him untrustworthy so I pray fervently for him to receive wisdom to make the incredibly hard decisions he must make as President.
I also pray every morning that we as a nation will realize that we the people are more than our politics and become a kinder, more civil people. In short that we become what President Lincoln called our better angels.
Only then will President Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” have any hope of coming true.