A Smashing Success at Davos

Another overseas trip by the president this one to Davos, and another fantastic success. In his speech at Davos the president emphasized that America is back and is open for business. He also highlighted the fact that “it’s the economy, stupid”. In this case, the U.S. economy which is going great guns since he became president.

The president took a lot of criticism because he chose to go to Davos. His critics contend it was hypocritical to go because he has built his agenda around an America-first populist nationalist message which does not comport with the thinking of the Davos globalist mavens. That is extremely narrow-minded criticism. President Trump went to Davos as a businessman-politician to push an American agenda. And to put on display American boosterism and national pride. He succeeded in doing just that.

To deny the Trump economic success is to deny reality. For eight years we suffered under a sluggish Obama economy.  How bad was the Obama economy?  Very bad.  President Obama’s economic growth over his eight years in office puts him in last place among all post-World War II presidents. Obama had eight years to enact a growth policy, while many of his predecessors never had two complete terms. When averaged across all post-World War II presidents economic growth was 3.2%. President Obama’s growth over his eight years in office was 1.5%, the lowest of them all. Obama's best year for economic growth was 2.6% in 2015. That is lower than the post-WWII best year growth average of 2.9%. Obama's best year of economic growth would have been a below-average year across the past 70 years. There are other economic statistics to buttress the fact that President Obama was a failure on the economy. But you get the picture. The data shows even the most ardent Obama, supporters despite their spin, should admit that on the economy, Obama was not a success.  

President Trump did not go to Davos to hobnob with the world’s elites simply for the sake of hobnobbing. He went to talk business, American business. And who better to do that then a successful businessman and entrepreneur like President Trump? President Obama once quipped in the run-up to the 2012 election when referring to business owners who had built their own businesses that “you didn’t build that -- someone else did.” The “someone else” he was referring to was the government. That was a huge gaffe and faux pas which he had to walk back. The distressing thing about the Obama comment, despite his attempted spin trying to extricate himself from this candid moment of slip of tongue collectivism is that in reality, he believed, and still believes, what he uttered out loud to a campaign event audience of likeminded liberals. President Obama came into office with little to no business experience.  He probably had the least private-sector free-market-enterprise experience of any American president. And it showed in the way he guided the economy for eight years.

Conversely, President Trump probably has the most private-sector free-market-enterprise experience of any American president. And it shows in his first year in office. The economy has taken off after eight years of malaise under Obama.  But there is more to this then simply business acumen and experience. President Trump has the  experience, but what sets him apart and what makes the people in his movement so ardent in their unwavering support for him is that he parlays that experience into an empathy for the common working-class man and woman.  That resonated throughout his Davos speech. In so many words, he separated himself from the globalist elites and made it known that if he has to pick sides it is with the American working class. If you are a working-class American it is hard not to find that appealing.

In defiance of his most severe critics, it is undeniable that after only one year in office the American economy is rebounding from eight years of stagnation during Obamanomics. It is the economy, stupid. President Trump went to Davos to emphasize that and he succeeded magnificently.