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At a recent Trump Rally in Tampa, the president put on a clinic for Republican candidates going into the midterm elections. Basically, he is selling prosperity, or, to paraphrase an expression from Jerry Maguire, "Show them the money!" More than anything, it is the booming economy that will drive voters in the fall. If I heard the president correctly, the Mueller probe has essentially burned itself out, the visceral rhetoric of the left is a turnoff to Independents, and the Democrats have nothing to offer except for socialism, higher taxes, and more crime resulting from unprotected borders. It is the economy, though, which people seem to grasp, thereby providing more jobs, and allowing workers to earn more money. This is an important lesson for all Republican candidates, be it for Congress, state, county, or municipal office.
The only problem is that the Republicans are not properly selling the economy to voters, which is why the president found it necessary to show candidates how to do it. At all of his recent rallies (Tampa, Wilkes-Barre, and Ohio), the people grasped his message and relished the changes Mr. Trump enumerated, such as:
- The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has risen to 4.1%.
- There are 3.7 million new jobs since he took office.
- Unemployment is down to 3.9%.
- African-American and Hispanic unemployment is at the lowest levels in history.
- The unemployment rate for women is at the lowest level in 65 years.
- 3.5 million Americans are off of food stamps.
- The tax cuts have put more money in people's pockets and caused businesses to reinvest in the United States.
- Oil production is high.
- For the first time ever, America has become an exporter of natural gas.
- The country will soon be the largest energy producer.
- The trade deficit was falling.
Mr. Trump is correct when he claims this will get better if we secure better trade deals. Even though he has been chipping away at it, the total U.S. trade deficit in 2017 was $566 billion, importing $2.895 trillion of goods and services while exporting $2.329 trillion. The deficit is still higher than in 2013 when it was $478 billion. Currently, the United States is the third largest exporter, but if the president can renegotiate trade deals to reduce tariffs, this could ignite the economy even further.
Some people pooh-pooh Mr. Trump's efforts claiming, "He inherited this upswing from President Obama," a notion they have learned from the mainstream news media. The reality is, in 2015 the GDP was 2.9%, and in 2016, Mr. Obama's last year, it was 1.6%. In terms of unemployment, Mr. Obama ended his term of office at 4.9% for the year. Lastly, more people were on food stamps under the Obama administration than at any other time in our history.
The president's detractors conveniently overlook how he was wooing business even before his inauguration. They also forget his cutting of the red tape of government bureaucracy, thereby freeing companies to go to work.
So, President Trump's lesson to Republican candidates is simple, this era will be remembered as the "good old days" in terms of the economy. Years from now, people will talk about this period as the go-go years for business. He made it clear: This should be of paramount importance to Republican campaign efforts.
Aside from the economy, the second most important subject he stressed at the Wilkes-Barre rally was immigration. He recognizes most law-abiding citizens want secured borders not just to stop illegal immigration, but also to curb the flow of criminals, drugs, and human trafficking.
Aside from some unexpected natural or man-made disaster, from now until the election in November, watch for Republicans to focus on the economy. Knowing this, the Democrats will try to lay down a smokescreen to distract people from the economy. If GOP candidates can keep voters focused on their economic success, they should have little problem winning in the Fall.
Thus ends the president's lesson.
Keep the Faith!
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Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.