Democrats do not want voters to forget Donald Trump’s boorish side – his nonstop chaos during his administration, his Twitter rants, his “debasing the presidency.”
Lower Taxes, Lighter Regulations
Democrats also want voters to forget the success of Trump’s pre-pandemic economy – his advancement of the traditional Republican agenda of lower taxes and lighter regulations, writes Jason Riley in the WSJ.
Trump Narrowed Racial Inequity
The upshot was an acceleration in economic activity, higher labor-force participation rates and narrowing racial inequality.
From the WSJ, October 2020
During Trump’s first three years in office, median household incomes grew, inequality diminished, and the poverty rate among Black people fell below 20% for the first time in post-World War II records.
The unemployment rate among Black people went under 6% for the first time in records going back to 1972.
Minorities weren’t the only beneficiaries of this boomlet, argues Mr. Riley.
Between 2017 and 2019, wages for the bottom 10% of earners grew at more than double the rate they did during President Obama’s second term.
Democrats are loath to give Mr. Trump’s tax and regulatory agenda any credit for these outcomes. The economy performed in the main just as administration officials and supply-side economic modeling predicted, continues Mr. Riley.
Lower corporate tax rates were intended to reverse the downward trend in business investment, and following their implementation major companies announced wage hikes, bonuses and 401(k) match increases. In the two-year period after the 2017 tax reform passed, household incomes rose by more than they had in the previous eight years combined.
Why This History Is Important
Democrats, via the Inflation Reduction Act unveiled last week, want to raise the taxes that Mr. Trump cut. No matter what it’s called, the legislation is another tax and spending bonanza that will do little if anything to reduce inflation. But passage could discourage the kind of business investment we saw before Covid. And because corporate levies are borne mainly by employees, higher taxes on businesses can also lead to lower wages and less hiring.
Progressivism Ahead of Pragmatism
Whether the issue is crime, immigration or the economy, Democrats are putting progressivism ahead of pragmatism and believe that the defeat of Mr. Trump in 2020 gives them license to do so.
Donald Trump lost his bid for a second term because the country grew tired of his behavior, Mr. Riley reminds readers. This shouldn’t be confused, however, with Trump’s economic and political agenda.
It might take a midterm shellacking for the left to finally figure out why Joe Biden was elected.
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