Trump measures himself by the stock market, which is on pace for the worst December since the Great Depression.
Even though the stock market is not a good proxy for the overall health of the U.S. economy, Trump has spent two years using it as a proxy for his own success. He’s tweeted about “stocks” or the “stock market” more than 70 times, usually giving himself outsized credit for any positive news at all. In just one month, October 2017, Trump bragged about the stock market nine times.
But now Trump’s favorite indicator of his own success is on pace for the worst December since the Great Depression.
Two major stock indexes, the Dow Jones and the S&P 500, are “on pace for their worst December performance since 1931, when stocks were battered during the Great Depression,” according to CNBC.
The stock market is tanking despite promises from Trump and Republicans that their scam to cut taxes for the rich would have the exact opposite effect.
In November 2017, Trump tweeted, “Great numbers on Stocks and the Economy. If we get Tax Cuts and Reform, we’ll really see some great results!”
A month later, the tax scam was signed into law. Since then, the S&P 500 is down just over 1 percent.
Former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan recently told an audience that the stock market boom Trump used to brag about is coming to an end, and investors should “run for cover.”
Again, how well the stock market is doing doesn’t tell you much about how ordinary Americans are doing. Fewer than half of Americans actually own stocks, and 80 percent of the stock market’s wealth is owned by the richest 10 percent.
But when even the stock market isn’t doing well, it tells you just how badly Republicans screwed up when they tucked billions of dollars in corporate kickbacks into the tax scam. Those kickbacks didn’t create wealth for anyone else — they just lined the pockets of already-wealthy executives and Wall Street bankers.
While Trump and Republicans focused on Wall Street, families throughout America were left behind. So few of the tax scam’s benefits went to ordinary Americans that failed Speaker Paul Ryan tried to brag about a secretary getting an extra $1.50 per week as a result of the bill.
Republicans also promised that companies would shower their workers with raises and bonuses as a result of the tax scam. But after accounting for inflation, wages have been either stagnant or barely growing at all.
While most families continue to struggle, Wall Street banks are seeing record profits — which shows exactly where the GOP’s priorities are.
Now even the stock market — which already benefits the wealthy, and which used to be the only thing Trump could use to bolster his false claims that the tax scam is “working” — is also in trouble.
In January 2018, as Trump was once again bragging about the stock market, CNBC warned he “may end up regretting his decision to latch onto such a fickle indicator.”
Trump, of course, never publicly admits regret. But now that news outlets are starting to compare the stock market to the Great Depression, Trump might suddenly stop bragging so much about it.
Published with permission of The American Independent.