End the duopoly

Millennial View: Trumped-up claims on the economy

As police brutality rages in the streets, President Trump can’t run on ending “American carnage.” He can’t run on criminal justice reform. He can’t run on winning back America’s respect in the world, or having completed his promised wall.

So he’s running on the economy. Even though the United States recently notched the worst economic numbers since the Great Depression.

“I built the greatest economy in the World, the best the U.S. has ever had,” he tweeted Sunday, echoing similar superlative claims he and his aides have been making for several months. “I am doing it again!”

This statement is so wrong on so many levels that it’s hard to know where to start.

First, as one former president might put it, “You didn’t build that.” Presidents get too much credit when the economy is good and too much blame when the economy is bad; their actions can make a difference on the margin (for example, they could bungle a crisis), but they don’t control the business cycle.

Even if the president could control the business cycle, why would Trump want to take credit for this one?Yes, the economy was doing well before the pandemic tipped us into recession in February. But it was […]

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