The Trump economy is firing on all cylinders, which means only one thing: The left is petrified.
Last week brought economic news so good that it sent the Democrats and their fellow travelers in the Resistance Media into full bury-then-ignore mode. Their pathological hatred of the president blocks them from reporting the truth about the booming economy he is delivering, lest it make him look good (heaven forfend) and help him politically (a fate worse than death).
They also know that since it’s always “the economy, Stupid,” they’d be damaging his potential 2020 opponent, which must be avoided at all costs.
Given the dazzling December economic data, it’s no wonder the press gave it short shrift. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy added a whopping 312,000 jobs, far more than the expected 176,000. After revisions, job gains have averaged an impressive 254,000 per month over the past three months. Job growth in 2018 (an average of 220,000 per month) passed that of both 2016 (195,000) and 2017 (182,000). Payrolls increased by 2.6 million in 2018, the highest since 2015.
The sunny jobs picture encouraged 419,000 new workers to enter the workforce and sent the labor force participation rate up to 63.1 percent. Unemployment rates among blacks, Latinos and women are at or near historic lows.
Job growth has also meant significant wage growth. Wages are up a stunning 3.2 percent from last year and .4 percent from November. December was the third straight month that the yearlong growth in nominal average hourly earnings was above 3 percent in nearly a decade; the last time we saw that trend was April 2009. Wages are also being given an assist by inflation being kept in check.
The jobs boom is being felt across most major sectors: Construction (a reliable indicator of economic growth) added 38,000 jobs in December and saw a total of 280,000 new jobs in 2018. Retail added 24,000 jobs in December, with 92,000 for the year. Health care jobs increased by 50,000 last month and by 346,000 for the year.
And perhaps the most politically and economically important of them all: Manufacturing added 32,000 jobs in December and a stunning 284,000 new jobs in 2018. That represents an increase of 12 percent over 2017, and a major achievement for Mr. Trump.
During the eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency, the only sector that experienced consistently expanding job growth was government. At the same time, he presided over the net loss of 210,000 manufacturing jobs.
In mid-2016, Mr. Obama was asked about the loss of those jobs, and candidate Trump’s promise to bring them back. “Well, how exactly are you going to do that?” Mr. Obama asked. “What exactly are you going to do? There’s no answer to it.
“He just says, ‘Well, I’m going to negotiate a better deal.’ Well, what, how exactly are you going to negotiate that?” Mr. Obama continued. “What magic wand do you have? And usually the answer is, he doesn’t have an answer.”
Turns out Mr. Trump did have an answer. It was to ratchet down the globalism Mr. Obama and his fellow elites insisted was inevitable and move to put America — its workers, taxpayers, industries and interests — first.
Mr. Trump’s “magic wand” was simple economic common sense: Pro-growth policies of tax cuts, widespread deregulation, unleashing the energy sector and renegotiating trade policies that had long decimated American manufacturing (another thing the elites told us couldn’t be done).
During the campaign, Mr. Trump’s economic agenda was roundly derided and dismissed as unfair and unworkable by Mr. Obama, Hillary Clinton and countless other ruling class overlords. They knew that Mr. Trump mustn’t be allowed to win the presidency, for they knew that if these policies were to take root, they would work. The economy would grow, jobs would return, manufacturing would boom, international trading partners that had long taken advantage of the United States would begin negotiating, prosperity would reappear and yes, America would be made great again.
This they could not abide, which explains at least in part their dark, frantic machinations to prevent his election, and post-November 2016, to hobble his ability to govern effectively.
His astounding economic track record is their worst nightmare. It puts the lie to the nonsense Mr. Obama, the Democrats and the media have been shoveling for years: That anemic economic growth, high unemployment, the collapse of manufacturing and grotesque trade imbalances were the “new normal.”
It also pointedly demonstrates that the statist vision — radical wealth redistribution, socialized medicine, green energy chimeras, social justice enforcement, limits on free speech, private property and gun ownership, and the rule of the leftist mob — creates only tyranny, poverty, injustice and servitude. (Note the deflection: These are things the left claims to want to eradicate.)
Mr. Trump and his economic thunderbolt are exposing the left and its policies as irredeemably bankrupt, economically and morally. And that is perhaps the biggest reason why they must try to destroy him.
• Monica Crowley is a columnist for the Washington Times.