It would fit the karma of a leftie universe if the United States was now suffering from its political choices. But it’s the reverse: the United States economy is roaring and President Trump is starting to be rewarded for delivering what he promised.
The United States economy is booming, despite having the worst-performing President in living memory. How is this possible?
His polls for overall popularity continue to be incredibly bad.
Other than on Fox News and Breitbart, the big news outlets hate or mock him.
His Republican Party is on track in November to lose its majority in Congress.
But they are now on track to retain their Senate in reasonable comfort. This is in some part due to the energised uptick in the polls from the Supreme Court confirmation hearings and now confirmation. While unpopular in many states, in the battleground states such as Indiana, West Virginia and North Dakota, Kavanagh is seen as a win and his confirmation will be seen as political delivery.
Both directly and indirectly Donald Trump is delivering in powerfully resonant ways. He’s tilted the Supreme Court conservative for a good decade to come. He’s delivered more expenditure for the military (of course there are far, far better ways to spend that $200 billion – but we’re not in power).
He’s delivered absolutely massive tax cuts for some of his citizens and altered the tax code more than anyone has seen in a long time.
And most importantly he’s delivered both short and long term for the United States economy. Just last week he tilted NAFTA more the way he wants it with Mexico and Canada, and he’s also moving to protect United States workers from Chinese imports (and yes, we’re heading in 2019 for a full and all-out trade war between the U.S. and China).
So much for the long term. In the short term he is also making huge policy delivery. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell last week described the U.S. economy as “extraordinary”, and the stats are in to prove it. The benchmark 10 year Treasury bond yield clicked higher to 3.18%. The U.S. Labor [sic] Department payrolls report shows that U.S. businesses added 181,000 workers in September and brought overall unemployment to 3.7%.
U.S. service industries surveyed by the Institute for Supply Management showed them rising to a near-record level in September.
The United States economy has now been growing consecutively for 113 months.
That’s a lot of strong data.
Also, strong anecdotes like Amazon increasing its minimum wage to $15 also signals more disposable income to 200,000 employees about to be injected into the U.S. economy in the short and long term (while it would have been great for Sanders to get more credit than he did for it, a win’s a win for workers).
So far, Trump has had little reward. Perhaps his appalling political style has truly snapped the economy-politics-media cycle of virtuous reward. Perhaps.
But you can see from this FiveThirtyEight graph how the Kavanagh debate in late September has tilted the likelihood of the Republicans firmly reasserting themselves in the Senate in the mid-terms.
Democrats – particularly left-leaning ones – are winning in places, despite Trump delivering like the proverbial postman. And yet with his personal approval rating so low, Trump can’t fall that much further, so the outcome of further indictments from the Mueller investigations would have to be earth-shattering to do his Presidency any further harm. He will never be impeached with a good Senate majority.
President Trump’s policy delivery, economy boom, and brand power reinforce the slogan that got him there: Make America Great Again. This greatly narrows the channels to victory for a 2020 Democrat Presidential contender or Democrat Senate majority.
There is no political karma, ever. There is no inevitability to the rise of the left once again. Nor is there any inevitability to the decline of the United States. Trump’s MAGA brand is so powerful it is reasserting information hegemony over much of the world. The United States was recently described by a strategist I know that it remains America First: where the U.S. leads all other business and central bank cycles, leads most global technology, entertainment and sport and news cycles, and also continues to kindle every geopolitical fire. I sure didn’t have to like it, but it was a hard sentiment to argue with.
We – the global left – can do nothing but what we have always done and fight.