Rather than rooting on the strong economy, Democrats have taken to ignoring it, belittling it or, like Bill Maher did over the weekend, rooting for a recession. The extent to which Trump critics will go is truly mind-boggling.
The unemployment rate is at 49-year lows overall, and lower than ever for African-Americans. Household incomes are at record highs. The U.S. reclaimed its No. 1 rank in competitiveness. Economists are revising their growth forecasts upward. Optimism is at levels not seen in more than a decade.
Clearly the economy is doing well. And what’s more, the public is increasingly crediting President Trump for it — as they should, since much of the turnaround is due to his dumping Obamanomics.
But what’s a Democrat hoping to reclaim the House majority in November to do?
One is to ignore the economy altogether. So, Democrats are trying to turn attention to things like ObamaCare premiums or alleged corruption in the Trump administration.
Ignoring the economy will be tough, however, particularly if GDP growth comes in strong in Q2 and unemployment continues to fall.
The second option is to belittle it.
Nancy Pelosi, having dismissed the tax-cut-fueled raises and bonuses that millions of workers received as “crumbs,” is now dismissing the good economic news as no big deal. Why? “Because of the wage stagnation.”
“Our economy,” she said, “will never fully reach its possibilities unless we increase the consumer confidence.”
The army of media fact-checkers must have been asleep when she said this, since her claims are so easy to debunk.
Average hourly wages climbed 2.7% in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And as we noted in this space recently, median household income is at historic highs.
Meanwhile, every survey shows confidence levels at or approaching new highs since Trump took office.
The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index, currently at 53.9, has averaged 53.5 under Trump, compared with 47 during President Obama’s entire second term. (Anything over 50 is optimistic).
The Consumer Confidence Index is currently at 128, which is 25 points higher than it ever reached under Obama, and higher than it’s been in 17 years.
Dismissing this good economic news as meaningless — after spending eight years proclaiming how great the stagnant economy was under Obama — isn’t going to dispel the notion that Democrats are out of touch with working families.
The third option is to admit openly what many Democrats no doubt feel privately: That a good recession is what the party needs to reclaim its former glory. After all, it did get Obama elected president.
Over the weekend, HBO talk show host Bill Maher spoke the words out load.
“I feel like the bottom has to fall out at some point,” he said, talking about the booming economy. “And by the way, I’m hoping for it because one way you get rid of Trump is a crashing economy.
“Sorry if that hurts people, but it’s either root for a recession or you lose your democracy.”
Let’s leave aside the glaring logical fallacy Maher commits with his false dilemma, and ponder what he is saying.
Maher would, if he could, throw millions of people into unemployment and poverty, watch as hard-earned savings vanish, wages stagnate and hope gets crushed, if that might keep Trump from winning re-election.
Of course, it’s easy for Maher to wish that, since he’s already made his millions attacking Republicans. But just how many of his fellow Trump-loathing Democrats secretly feel the same way?
Reporters love to force Republican politicians to answer for anything outrageous that a conservative says. Shouldn’t these same reporters, to prove their lack of political bias, press every single Democrat running for office in November to condemn Maher’s economic death wish?
That question should be asked of Wisconsin Democrats running against Gov. Scott Walker and other Republicans as well. (To normal people the definition of “fail” is not insufficient government spending or regulation in your favorite area of either.)