Contrary to the blather, Trump's economic team has the adults in charge

The pundit class's nostalgia for the good old days of the Obama years and how Team Obama ran the economy is pretty pathetic.

Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell's recent opinion piece, titled "Trump's economic team needs to grow up fast," has so many things backward that it is hard to address.

She writes:

Last week, for the 10-year anniversary of the Bear Stearns failure, Marketplace released an  hour-long interview  with the key economic policymakers involved: former Federal Reserve chair Ben S. Bernanke, George W. Bush administration treasury secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and former New York Federal Reserve president Timothy F. Geithner , who would later become President Barack Obama's treasury secretary.

Listening to their recounting of the start of the financial crisis, I found myself unexpectedly...wistful.

Not for the ensuing panic, or market crashes, or foreclosures, bankruptcies and layoffs that would lay ruin to millions of innocent bystanders.  That was all unequivocally awful.  The resulting scars, both economic and political, still have not fully healed.  [A scar is by definition healed tissue, so if they're "scars," then they are already "full healed."  Telling that whoever is editing Rampell's articles did not catch this. –ed]

What I missed was the sense that grown-ups, even if imperfect ones, had once been in charge.

Rampell is completely confused as to what makes the economy grow and what doesn't.  How could she believe that Obama's economic team was "grown up" when its results were so dismal?  Tim Geithner, the Obama Treasury secretary, didn't even know how to file his taxes correctly when he took office.  Obama surrounded himself with academics and people of little business experience, and the results showed.  In contrast, President Trump surrounds himself with businessmen, and those results show.

Obama had the slowest economic recovery in seventy years despite massive government spending increases, massive deficits, and interest rates near zero.  For the last three quarters, and, it appears, for all of 2018, the economy is finally growing, at around 3%, which the experts, including Rampell, said would not happen.

For those who say Obama's policies brought us out of the great recession, well, note that he took office Jan. 20, 2009, and the economy came out of recession on June 1, 2009, 130 days later, so his policies had a minuscule effect, if any at all.

Last year, Rampell wrote that Trump did not know what he was talking about when he said the economy would grow 3% with his reduced regulations and tax rates.  She said it would grow around 1.9%.  I am waiting for her to admit that Trump was right and that the so-called "experts," including herself, were wrong.

Business economists have just upped their estimated growth rate for 2018 to 2.9% because of the tax cuts and tax reform.  I assume we will not read about that in her column or in any of the WaPo writers' columns because it just doesn't fit the agenda.

Consumer confidence and business confidence have risen sharply since Trump took office and are much higher than during any of Obama's eight years.  Does that imply that the people or business leaders think Trump's team needs to grow up?

Black and Hispanic unemployment is now at record lows.  Women's unemployment is at a seventeen-year low.  Part-time workers for economic reasons are at the lowest since 2008, and discouraged workers are at the lowest level since 2007.  Does any of those statistics indicate that Trump's team does not know what it is doing?

Rampell claims to be worried about the deficit, but she didn't worry about Obama running up $10 trillion in spending in eight years, and the numbers would have been much worse if the Federal Reserve hadn't kept interest rates near zero, pretending the deficit didn't cost much and truly punishing savers and pension funds.

The Democrats, including Rampell, who spew forth Democrat talking points, care about the deficit only if it includes people and businesses getting to keep more of the money they earn.  Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer cared about the deficit when he voted against the tax cuts but bragged that the era of austerity is over when the omnibus bill passed.  (Schumer has a strange definition of austerity.)  It is a shame that he won't admit the truth that the economy has always grown faster after across-the-board tax cuts.  Meanwhile, the government has also collected more money, so why does the CBO always predict less revenue, and why do columnists such as Rampell just repeat the predictions instead of report actual data?

The trade deficit reduces economic growth and jobs, so thankfully we now have a grown up team to address that deficit, too.  Obama and his team said manufacturing jobs would never come back, so they did nothing to help.  Under Trump's "immature team" (according to Rampell), in 2017, more than 200,000 manufacturing jobs were created, and 2018 is also starting out well.

Trump's team is renegotiating several trade deals at once and just got a deal with South Korea that may help fix the deal Obama did in 2012.  I wonder if this will make the front page of the Washington Post.

And her attack on incoming White House National Economic Council chairman Larry Kudlow, for "continued unforced errors," stands out as particularly stupid.  Kudlow hasn't even taken office yet, and she is singling him out for "continued unforced errors" for his stubborn support for tax cuts.  That is "immature" how, exactly?

So, Ms. Rampell, here is a hint.  If the economy grew slowly, that does not indicate a mature and intelligent economic team.  Fast growth, especially much faster growth than what the "experts" predicted, does indicate an economic team that knows what it is doing.

Economic growth is always higher if more money is allowed to stay in the private sector to move around than if the government confiscates a greater amount.  Fewer regulations also helps a great deal because businesses can spend more on productive activity than on complying with oppressive regulations.  That is what we mean by a mature recognition of reality.

The pundit class's nostalgia for the good old days of the Obama years and how Team Obama ran the economy is pretty pathetic.

Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell's recent opinion piece, titled "Trump's economic team needs to grow up fast," has so many things backward that it is hard to address.

She writes:

Last week, for the 10-year anniversary of the Bear Stearns failure, Marketplace released an  hour-long interview  with the key economic policymakers involved: former Federal Reserve chair Ben S. Bernanke, George W. Bush administration treasury secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and former New York Federal Reserve president Timothy F. Geithner , who would later become President Barack Obama's treasury secretary.

Listening to their recounting of the start of the financial crisis, I found myself unexpectedly...wistful.

Not for the ensuing panic, or market crashes, or foreclosures, bankruptcies and layoffs that would lay ruin to millions of innocent bystanders.  That was all unequivocally awful.  The resulting scars, both economic and political, still have not fully healed.  [A scar is by definition healed tissue, so if they're "scars," then they are already "full healed."  Telling that whoever is editing Rampell's articles did not catch this. –ed]

What I missed was the sense that grown-ups, even if imperfect ones, had once been in charge.

Rampell is completely confused as to what makes the economy grow and what doesn't.  How could she believe that Obama's economic team was "grown up" when its results were so dismal?  Tim Geithner, the Obama Treasury secretary, didn't even know how to file his taxes correctly when he took office.  Obama surrounded himself with academics and people of little business experience, and the results showed.  In contrast, President Trump surrounds himself with businessmen, and those results show.

Obama had the slowest economic recovery in seventy years despite massive government spending increases, massive deficits, and interest rates near zero.  For the last three quarters, and, it appears, for all of 2018, the economy is finally growing, at around 3%, which the experts, including Rampell, said would not happen.

For those who say Obama's policies brought us out of the great recession, well, note that he took office Jan. 20, 2009, and the economy came out of recession on June 1, 2009, 130 days later, so his policies had a minuscule effect, if any at all.

Last year, Rampell wrote that Trump did not know what he was talking about when he said the economy would grow 3% with his reduced regulations and tax rates.  She said it would grow around 1.9%.  I am waiting for her to admit that Trump was right and that the so-called "experts," including herself, were wrong.

Business economists have just upped their estimated growth rate for 2018 to 2.9% because of the tax cuts and tax reform.  I assume we will not read about that in her column or in any of the WaPo writers' columns because it just doesn't fit the agenda.

Consumer confidence and business confidence have risen sharply since Trump took office and are much higher than during any of Obama's eight years.  Does that imply that the people or business leaders think Trump's team needs to grow up?

Black and Hispanic unemployment is now at record lows.  Women's unemployment is at a seventeen-year low.  Part-time workers for economic reasons are at the lowest since 2008, and discouraged workers are at the lowest level since 2007.  Does any of those statistics indicate that Trump's team does not know what it is doing?

Rampell claims to be worried about the deficit, but she didn't worry about Obama running up $10 trillion in spending in eight years, and the numbers would have been much worse if the Federal Reserve hadn't kept interest rates near zero, pretending the deficit didn't cost much and truly punishing savers and pension funds.

The Democrats, including Rampell, who spew forth Democrat talking points, care about the deficit only if it includes people and businesses getting to keep more of the money they earn.  Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer cared about the deficit when he voted against the tax cuts but bragged that the era of austerity is over when the omnibus bill passed.  (Schumer has a strange definition of austerity.)  It is a shame that he won't admit the truth that the economy has always grown faster after across-the-board tax cuts.  Meanwhile, the government has also collected more money, so why does the CBO always predict less revenue, and why do columnists such as Rampell just repeat the predictions instead of report actual data?

The trade deficit reduces economic growth and jobs, so thankfully we now have a grown up team to address that deficit, too.  Obama and his team said manufacturing jobs would never come back, so they did nothing to help.  Under Trump's "immature team" (according to Rampell), in 2017, more than 200,000 manufacturing jobs were created, and 2018 is also starting out well.

Trump's team is renegotiating several trade deals at once and just got a deal with South Korea that may help fix the deal Obama did in 2012.  I wonder if this will make the front page of the Washington Post.

And her attack on incoming White House National Economic Council chairman Larry Kudlow, for "continued unforced errors," stands out as particularly stupid.  Kudlow hasn't even taken office yet, and she is singling him out for "continued unforced errors" for his stubborn support for tax cuts.  That is "immature" how, exactly?

So, Ms. Rampell, here is a hint.  If the economy grew slowly, that does not indicate a mature and intelligent economic team.  Fast growth, especially much faster growth than what the "experts" predicted, does indicate an economic team that knows what it is doing.

Economic growth is always higher if more money is allowed to stay in the private sector to move around than if the government confiscates a greater amount.  Fewer regulations also helps a great deal because businesses can spend more on productive activity than on complying with oppressive regulations.  That is what we mean by a mature recognition of reality.