Trump ran a campaign that was explicitly hostile toward long-held conservative policy prescriptions.He blended conventionally Republican rhetoric with support for protectionist, big-government interventionism.Consumer confidence is on the rise; public optimism has led more firms to make big-ticket capital investments, Americans are taking out automobile loans at record rates, and the dollar is so strong the president is starting to tell reporters that it needs to cool off.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average topped a record 20,000 just five days after Trump’s inauguration and has stayed there since early February.
Manufacturing output expanded for the seventh consecutive month in March, and Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) shows industrial production nearing full recovery from the crash in 2008.
None of this is to say that the economy in America is perfect, but the malady afflicting the American workforce in the wake of the Great Recession is one of morale.
Trump’s voters believe, with good reason, that Washington’s elites don’t care about them, so they demand from Washington a gesture in acknowledgment of their plight. But appeals to emotion, however compelling, can give birth to terrible policy.
Obama later confessed that his “shovel-ready jobs” were “not as shovel-ready as we expected,” but at least Obama’s Keynesian spending program followed Keynesian reasoning. Donald Trump just wants to spend on infrastructure. Some Republicans—such as Lou Barletta, Mark Meadows, and Grover Norquist—support Trump’s objective, albeit with varying degrees of skepticism over how that $1 trillion investment would be financed.