Trump Shouldn’t Overshadow America’s Thriving Economy

Donald Trump’s stint as President certainly hasn’t been without controversy, and the prevailing image of the United States is a country in turmoil. Many have claimed that Donald Trump’s divisive political stances and actions have put off tourists, with arrivals down 1.6% since January, a not insubstantial fall.

But what some observers fail to note is the number of concurrent events that can be factored into this drop. The most prominent are the recent hurricanes Irma and Maria, which have impacted tourism in key areas, shuttered businesses and led to massive insurance payouts. And the political situation has masked an important fact: the U.S. economy is stronger than ever.

Look beyond the bad news stories, and what emerges is a picture of an economy in extremely rude health. Manufacturing output is at its highest level in thirteen years, a major boost in Trump’s focus on boosting American exports and the ‘buy local’ ethic.

The service sector has also hit a 12-year high, employing an estimated 120 million Americans. There are more job openings in America than any point in history, with a highly competitive jobs market. This has led to a mere 4.2% of the population finding themselves out of work – another historic low.

These statistics can sometimes be misleading, with figures at the top end not always reflecting the economic outlook of the average person. But 43% of surveyed Americans currently believe that the economy is in either a good or excellent position, with a further 36% expecting it to get better in the near future.

Two key barometers of confidence in the average American are also highly positive. Consumer confidence notably rebounded in August, with a fall in September attributed to the hurricanes. And car sales are way up across the entire industry, with General Motors’ sales up 12%, due in part to replacements after the destructive weather.

Trump’s economic policies also hold surprisingly broad cross-party support, with strong backing for proposals on reducing taxes for small businesses, renegotiating trade deals and infrastructure improvements. Indeed, infrastructure is already showing improvements, with intermodal rail traffic hitting another record high in September.

The biggest test for Trump – and the source of much of this optimism – is his landmark tax reform package. The streamlining of the tax code is expected to save consumers hundreds of dollars a year on average in income tax, while also securing a dramatic cut of 15% to corporate tax for businesses. The average tax deduction for state and local taxes would also double, representing as much as $11,000 in savings a year for married couples.

There will be doubtless be obstacles to passing this tax Bill, as there have been with Trump’s other policies. But with the economy already trending upwards, this stimulus looks to be perfectly timed. As political scraps continue, the United States is quietly reaffirming its status as a global economic superpower.

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