At the start of President Donald Trump’s tenure, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 19,826.25.
That in itself was a huge increase at the time, which occurred during the Obama administration. But while Trump has been reticent to give accolades to his predecessor, he’s been more than happy to brag about the economy ever since, even though he started with his proverbial foot on third base.
The economy continued to grow under the Trump administration, reaching its zenith point in February this year. The DJIA got as high as 29,551.43 points on February 12.
Then, fears about the spread of coronavirus around the globe, including in the U.S., led to markets everywhere dropping substantially. Since that high point, the DJIA has dropped by more than 10,000 points.
In other words, the supposed gains that Trump has been bragging about since the start of his presidency, deserved or not, have all been erased.
Recessions come and go, of course, and they’re not always the faults of the presidents who are in charge at the time. The economic worries today are not of Trump’s making — coronavirus is affecting every country across the globe, and it’d be unfair to say it’s the president who is entirely to blame.
That being said, there are arguments to be made that, perhaps partially, Trump has failed to address the crisis in an adequate way so far, and that he owns a small part of whatever recession comes about, if it does happen. His childish refusal to meet with Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill, too, signals that he’s not done much to promote the current plans being put forth to address the economic hardships.
Step Aside for Powell and Pelosi https://t.co/uyYIB6N2PX Paul Krugman always has an interesting take on things. Here he asks whether Trump and the GOP will let Jay Powell (Fed chairman) & Nancy Pelosi save our economy. Read it.
— Socially Responsible Capitalist (@enyherb) March 17, 2020
Instead, if the markets can be stabilized somewhat due to those plans, the credit deserves to go to Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Their bipartisan plan may be limited, in a number of areas, but it does hold the promise to do a great deal of good, too, including:
- expanding unemployment insurance;
- getting food assistance to seniors;
- providing paid medical leave to a large chunk of the workforce; and
- getting much-needed income into the hands of millions of Americans.
Ultimately, any bill that passes both houses of Congress would require Trump’s signature on it. But his role in attempting to save the economy (or at least lessen the blow of a recession) has been passive, at best. It’s been Pelosi, behind the scenes and without much fanfare, who has led the charge to save the economy for millions of Americans.
If the economy can be saved, it’s Pelosi who deserves much of the credit for it.
Featured image credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr