by Jonathan Decker
Newly released poll data should give pause to those who doubted Trump’s tax cut and regulatory reform agenda. It’s now official: the Trump economy is doing so well that the mainstream media is forced to acknowledge it.
For the first time since President Donald Trump took office, the CNBC All-America Economic Survey shows more than half the public approving his handling of the economy, and it appears to be having some impact on his overall job approval rating.
The president’s economic approval rating surged 6 points to 51 percent with just 36 percent of the public disapproving, a 6 point drop from the March Survey.
Fifty-four percent say the economy is good or excellent, the highest recorded by CNBC in the 10 years of the survey. [Emphasis added]
Axios also provided a rundown of some of the economic indicators that should keep Americans optimistic:
- Disability applications are plunging: Fewer than 1.5 million Americans applied for disability benefits in 2017, “the lowest since 2002.” Trump touted this statistic in a Saturday morning tweet.
- Unemployment is dropping: Last week, the number of people filing for unemployment benefits was at 218,000, below the expected 220,000.
- Homebuilding surged: U.S. homebuilding hit its highest level in May since July 2007.
- Consumers are optimistic: Consumer sentiment hit its highest level in three months. University of Michigan’s chief economist Richard Curtin told CNBS: “Greater certainty about future income and job prospects have become the main drivers of more favorable purchase plans.”
If Americans are increasingly supporting President Trump’s agenda now, imagine what his support will look like if he can sustain 3 percent economic growth.
Merely a year ago, the liberal media was taunting President Trump’s budget (which called for 3 percent growth) by claiming it relied on “wild optimism” and was “the Budgetary Equivalent of Putting Your Fingers in Your Ears and Yelling, ‘Na NaNaNaNa'”.
And despite all of the fear-mongering that tax cuts would be ‘armageddon’ and amounted to ‘mere crumbs’ for American workers, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has resulted in billions of dollars in bonuses, salary increases, and new investment. If not for the Senate Democrats ability to filibuster, the tax cuts could have been even bigger.
The trend of regulatory activity shifted dramatically in 2017 once President Trump assumed the presidency. American Action Forum (AAF) research found that in 2017 federal agencies finalized 274 regulations that imposed $30.6 billion in total costs, relative to the regulatory burden at the end of 2016. These agencies simultaneously trimmed 15.6 million paperwork burden hours. What is most noteworthy is the disparity in the regulatory activity of the last three weeks of the Obama Administration versus the more than 11 months of the Trump Administration. Despite substantial new regulatory costs finalized in the last weeks of the Obama Administration, the Trump Administration made significant progress in slowing this growth the remainder of the year. In fact, 81 percent of all regulatory costs finalized in 2017 came during President Obama’s final weeks in office.
The 274 finalized rules are the fewest since 2005, the first year for which AAF has data. The $30.6 billion in finalized costs is the lowest since 2013, when agencies imposed $29.5 billion. However, that same year agencies increased paperwork burden hours by 83 million.
Few could have predicted that the Trump administration would act as boldly as they have in deconstructing the administrative state. It’s hard to believe that any other candidate in the last GOP presidential primary would have eclipsed his success on this front.
With more Americans feeling the benefits of the economic transformation underway since President Trump took office, let’s hope his administration continues to push pro-growth policies to ride this wave of economic optimism. If the administration sticks to growth, there’s no reason these poll numbers won’t be even higher when the midterm elections approach.