President Donald Trump’s campaign spurred fears among countless economists and members of the mainstream media in 2016 predicting an economic Armageddon if Trump were to be elected. On Tuesday, the stock market hit an all-time high.
“Conventional wisdom is that, right off the bat, the stock market would fall precipitously,” declared the New York Times days before the election.
Simon Johnson, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology predicted in the Times that a Trump win would “likely cause the stock market to crash and plunge the world into recession.”
Dartmouth economist Eric Zitzewitz told Politico that Wall Street desperately preferred Hillary Clinton over Trump. “You saw Clinton win the first debate and her odds jumped and stocks moved aright along with it. Should Trump somehow manage to win you could see major Brexit-style selling.”
“Now comes the mother of all adverse effects – and what it brings with it is a regime that will be ignorant of economic policy and hostile to any effort to make it work,” wrote New York Times columnist and Nobel-Prize winning economist Paul Krugman on the day after the election. “So we are very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight. I suppose we could get lucky somehow. But on economics, as on everything else, a terrible thing has just happened.”
Three years later, the country apparently got quite lucky in Krugman’s eyes, whose columns since the election make his contempt for Trump exquisitely clear and who has continued to predict an economic collapse every few months of the Trump presidency.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average officially reached 28,333 on Monday, hitting a 10,000 point high since Trump’s victory in 2016. The S&P 500 has also experienced more than a 46 percent gain. So how about that stock market crash?
While economists predicted Trump would be an “adversary” of economic growth, the Trump presidency in reality has been a boon for the American economy. U.S. investors have benefitted from the White House’s pro-growth agenda, slashing individual and corporate tax rates while pursuing an aggressive regulatory rollback regime to unleash the might of the American economy.
Markets are also soaring in light of the administration’s successfully negotiated trade deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement which appears on course to pass the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives this week.
The new trade deal, dubbed “NAFTA 2.0” is expected to pass the House this week while Democrats simultaneously move to kick impeachment over to the Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi jeopardized the fate of the agreement by stalling on negotiations with the White House in an effort to coincide passage of the trade treaty with impeachment to rebuff Republican claims of blind partisanship.
So while economists were quick to cast worry over a Trump-controlled White House, the economy has been anything but devastated. If anything this year, it has been obstructionist Democrats holding back the stock market from rising even further by creating unnecessary uncertainty over the USMCA trade agreement and focusing on a partisan sham impeachment.