Live Free Or Die: America (and the World) on the Brink (29 page)

BOOK: Live Free Or Die: America (and the World) on the Brink
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As we've seen with the Democrats' full embrace of identity politics, what begins as bizarre left-wing theorizing on college campuses often makes its way into the Democratic Party. Rejecting the very concept of religious liberty may be a fringe position now, but time will tell how long that remains the case.

CHAPTER NINE
Trump Triumphs

As I've shown, the left consistently displays undisguised contempt for everyday Trump supporters. We've seen this going back to President Obama and his insulting comments about working-class midwesterners: “They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
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That was a bad mistake by Obama—the
Guardian
called it “an uncharacteristic moment of loose language.”
2
Back then, politicians weren't supposed to insult huge parts of the American population. But that's all changed when it comes to Trump supporters. When they're not comparing us to Nazis, well, we're the smelly Walmart people that FBI agent Peter Strzok called us, or the irredeemable deplorables that Hillary Clinton called us.

The left is determined to destroy Donald Trump and his administration. They hate him, and deep down, they hate us—the people who voted for him. For example, look at this gem from long-serving Democratic congressman Hank Johnson. “Americans elected an authoritarian, anti-immigrant, racist strongman to the nation's highest office. Donald Trump and his Make America Great Again followers—who want to return America back to a time when white men and white privilege were unchallenged, and where minorities and women were
in their place—these folks now control the highest office in the land,” said Johnson, who went on to compare Trump to Hitler.
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The left hates us because we empowered Trump, and they hate Trump because he disempowered
them
. That's why they deny or conceal his amazing record of presidential accomplishments—nothing good can come from the man who interrupted what was supposed to be another eight years of Democratic rule. Even if Trump single-handedly cured heart disease and gave every American millions of dollars today, they would still hate him just as much—because he represents the greatest obstacle to them regaining power.

The media have systematically downplayed President Trump's stunning record of success, but I do what I can to highlight the good news—and there's a lot of it. I've chronicled it on my shows, and I want to do a deep dive into these triumphs in this chapter as a testament to how great Americans and America can be when we have a president who implements policies that liberate them from the stranglehold of government and encourage them to create and produce in the free market. This book is not just an urgent warning about the dangers of the Democrats regaining power, but a reminder of how terrific things can be—and have been—under President Trump.

Granted, things have changed dramatically since the coronavirus pandemic hit our shores, but can you imagine how much worse our economy would be now if it hadn't been so strong when the virus broke out? Further, it is horrifying to contemplate how much worse the virus's impact would have been had a Democrat president been in office at the time, paralyzed by political correctness from issuing travel bans, unwilling to reject bureaucratic obstacles as Trump has done, and incapable of coordinating the public and private sectors to manage this crisis.

Some Americans had forgotten just how unique this nation is. Some had given up on our entrepreneurial spirit and the unlimited potential of our economy. Well, under Trump their memories were jogged, as all witnessed the dramatic change just three years could
make. Our spirit of patriotism was reborn with this superpatriotic president—a patriotism that has served us well in battling the pandemic and should continue to do so through our economic recovery.

Under Trump's economic policies, the lives of millions of forgotten men and women were strikingly improved. We saw record-setting tax cuts, lucrative trade deals, energy independence that we never dreamed of, regulatory reforms, a boom in manufacturing, prison reform, national security successes, and the confirmation of scores of conservative judges, including two Supreme Court justices. We had the best employment numbers in fifty years and an economy that was booming and breaking records like never before, with millions of people being moved off food stamps and out of poverty.

Some of you, my conservative friends, doubted me when I told you Donald Trump was a conservative. Well, do you believe me now? We haven't seen someone govern this conservatively since Ronald Reagan. I told you he would deliver on his campaign promises, and his accomplishments now speak for themselves. If people become familiar with his record, he will win reelection handily. So let's now look at the state of the union under President Trump as it stood prior to the pandemic. Let's look at the economy and jobs, deregulation, energy, national security and defense, foreign policy, the courts, life and religious liberty, immigration, health care, and more, with apologies in advance for the impossibility of covering everything this president has accomplished. Most important, let's see why President Trump's amazing economic record before the coronavirus makes him the single most qualified person to lead our post-virus recovery.

TRUMP'S BOOM ECONOMY

While the coronavirus had a devastating economic impact on America, that does not change the
fact
that Trump's economic policies before the virus were enormously successful. They led to one of the
greatest booms in American history, and resuming them is essential to leading us out of the virus-induced recession and to future growth. It should go without saying, but as Democrats are famous for exploiting crises, it needs to be said, that the economic meltdown beginning in the first quarter of 2020 was not due to Trump's economic policies prior to the virus, but to the restrictions on movement and commerce enacted at the local, state, and federal levels in an effort to reduce the virus's spread.

Prior to the onset of the pandemic here, were Americans better off than they were four years ago? Well, let's remember where we were at the end of the eight-year-long Obama presidency. Back then, we had a perpetually sluggish economy, companies shutting down and moving overseas, the war on coal and other sources of domestic energy, wasteful and failed experiments in alternative energy, environmental radicalism, the Obamacare nightmare, the lowest home ownership rate in fifty-one years, the worst recovery since the 1940s, 13 million more Americans on food stamps, 8 million more Americans in poverty, and of course he accumulated more debt than every other president before him combined.

Remember the orchestrated malaise from Obama and his team of doomsayers, including his Treasury secretary Jack Lew, who said slow growth was our permanent destiny, and Obama himself, who said Trump would need a magic wand to improve manufacturing? Remember the downsizing of the military, the Benghazi debacle, and a lead-from-behind foreign policy catering to Iran and condescending to Israel? How about Obama's war on religious liberty, his expansion of the welfare state, his leftist judges, his explosion of rules and regulations, his lawless executive orders, his use of the IRS to harass conservative organizations, and his lax border policies?

When a Republican president replaces a Democrat, there is usually just a temporary pendulum swing back to the right. Rarely do we experience the kind of dramatic turnaround we've seen in President
Trump's first term. Let's start by looking at some of the Trump-era economic indicators.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Trump in December 2017, was the biggest tax reform bill in thirty years,
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providing tax relief for 80 percent of middle-class families and fiercely igniting the economy. It doubled the Child Tax Credit, almost doubled the standard deduction, simplified the tax filing process for millions, and cut taxes by 20 percent on small businesses. It lowered individual rates, included a long-overdue reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, and reduced state and local deductions. It repealed the Obamacare individual mandate and expanded college savings accounts.
5

The pre-coronavirus economy soared under President Trump. Obama's economy rarely saw substantial growth, but annual growth now regularly nears or exceeds 3 percent.
6
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that in 2018 the economy reached 3 percent growth (3.1 percent) for a one-year time period—from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018—for the first time in thirteen years. By contrast, Obama was the first president in history who never reached a year of 3 percent growth.
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In February 2020, Obama tweeted, “Eleven years ago today, near the bottom of the worst recession in generations, I signed the Recovery Act, paving the way for more than a decade of economic growth and the longest streak of job creation in American history.” Hours after Obama posted his tweet, President Trump's team issued a statement to Fox News refuting Obama's absurd claim. “President Trump reversed every single failed Obama-era economic policy, and with it, reversed the floundering Obama/Biden economy,” read the statement.
8

Trump's boom was not part of a continuing arc of growth as Obama claims. If the pre-2017 growth trend had continued, growth would have been about 2 percent in 2017 and 2018. In fact, economic output was $280 billion more than it would have been under the
earlier trends.
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It's a bit rich for Obama to hijack credit for Trump's record, since Larry Summers, Obama's National Economic Council director, ridiculed the idea that Trump's policies could generate 3 percent growth. “Apparently, the budget forecasts that U.S. economic growth will rise to 3.0 percent because of the administration's policies—largely its tax cuts and perhaps also its regulatory policies,” wrote Summers in May 2017. “Fair enough if you believe in tooth fairies and ludicrous supply-side economics.”
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Do you remember Summers retracting his “ludicrous” statement and apologizing? Me, neither!

As of July 2018, 155,965,000 Americans were employed, the most in our history.
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In April 2019, the unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent, the lowest since December 1969, according to BLS.
12
As of December 2018, for the first time on record, there were more job openings than unemployed Americans, showing the economy's remarkable strength. Usually, the number of unemployed far exceeds job openings, but job openings had increased to a record-high 7.3 million, and unemployment was at an extraordinary low of 4 percent.
13
A BLS household survey showed unemployment at 3.7 percent in August 2019, representing the eighteenth consecutive month the unemployment rate was below or equal to 4 percent.
14
January 2020 marked the twenty-third consecutive month—the longest such streak in fifty years.
15

Factors contributing to Trump's boom included the tax cuts, deregulation, and trade reform, but let's not overlook the wave of optimism Trump brought into the Oval Office. A Gallup poll of early 2019 showed that 50 percent of Americans believed they were better off than a year before when the boom was kicking in, and 69 percent expected their personal finances to improve over the next year—the most economic optimism Americans (of both parties) had expressed in sixteen years. “Though Republicans' expectations rose after Trump took office and Democrats became less optimistic, majorities from both parties said they expected to be better off in the coming year in both the pre-Trump election polls and the post-Trump-inauguration ones,” said Gallup.
16
A quarterly survey by the National Association of
Manufacturers (NAM) in the last half of 2018 showed renewed optimism among America's manufacturers, with 93 percent of them projecting expansions for their businesses. “We used to be happy when that number would get up to the mid- and high-50s,” said NAM's chief executive officer, Jay Timmons.
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In its pre-2016 election forecast, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected 14,000 new jobs per month by September 2019, but the growth was almost ten times higher for that quarter. The economy had added 6.3 million jobs since the president was elected, dwarfing by 4.5 million the CBO's predictions.
18
As of January 2020, 7 million jobs had been added in the thirty-eight months since Trump's election.
19
For perspective, there were only 2.45 million jobs added between 2007, the peak employment year under President George W. Bush, and the end of Obama's second term in 2017.
20
And there was some additional tremendous news: the unemployment rate for historically disadvantaged groups—African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans—hit all-time lows. Unemployment levels for those with no high school degree and those with disabilities also reached record lows.
21
The African American unemployment rate was 5.5 percent, the African American adult female unemployment rate was 4.4 percent, the African American teen unemployment reached historic lows, and Hispanic unemployment was 4.2 percent.
22
In the summer of 2018, the unemployment rate for women reached its lowest level in sixty-five years.
23

Once thought dead and gone, manufacturing bounced back in the Trump economy. (Obama said, “those jobs ain't coming back.” Well, they came back.) As of March 2019, 480,000 manufacturing jobs had been added since Trump's election.
24
“In terms of the percentage of manufacturing job increases, the gains made thus far under the Trump administration surpass the performance in the first term of every president since the 1970s,” wrote Justin Haskins.
25
Trump's manufacturing jobs record should be compared to President Clinton's last three years in office, when more than 430,000 manufacturing jobs were lost. That
trend continued under President George W. Bush, when millions more manufacturing jobs were lost even before the 2008 crash, and during Obama's eight years, with some 300,000 manufacturing jobs lost.
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