This Week in Economics: 3 Stories You Should Know About

1.) Reagan economist Arthur Laffer corrects the record on who deserves credit for our economic boom. Last week, I explained why Barack Obama does not deserve credit for Trump’s economic boom. To the contrary, the economic growth President Trump has achieved comes in spite of Obama, as many of the previous administration’s economic policies remain on the books (though President Trump is working diligently to dismantle them brick by brick). This week, Reagan economist Arthur Laffer echoed this sentiment by pointing out that we had “the worst recovery in U.S. history under Barack Obama,” while President Trump has had the

Wall Street Journal to President Trump: It’s Time for Monetary Reform

This week, a fantastic editorial appeared in the Wall Street Journal that has sparked a very important conversation. In the article, the paper’s editorial board encourages President Trump to use monetary reform to address Chinese currency devaluation. The WSJ wrote: Mr. Trump’s trade policies are also becoming a currency problem. Faced with the threat of U.S. tariffs on some $500 billion of its exports, China seems to be letting its currency depreciate to compensate. The yuan traded at 6.27 to the U.S. dollar on April 18 but fell to 6.77 on Friday. That should help the competitiveness of Chinese exports in

Mooney Money! How This Rep. Is Reviving a Forgotten Economic “Magic Formula”

This week, Congressman Alexander Mooney (R-W.Va.) put the classical gold standard back into congressional purview with his introduction of H.R. 5404 and his excellent Wall Street Journal op-ed, “Steel and Aluminum? Let’s Talk About Gold.” The op-ed served to introduce the bill to the wider world. Adopting it would make the dollar legally convertible to a fixed weight of gold. Kudos to Representative Mooney for putting forward a bill — modeled after Jack Kemp’s Gold Standard Act of 1984 — to spark an important conversation on across-the-board economic growth. As Nathan Lewis has written for Forbes.com, the “Magic Formula” for

Is President Trump Undermining His Own Tax Cuts?

The Trump giveth and the Trump taketh? During a private meeting with lawmakers last week, President Trump signaled that he would be open to a 25 cent per gallon increase to the federal gas tax.  If your car has a 16 gallon gas tank (as many do), this would cost you an extra four dollars every time you fill up your car – and gasoline prices are already rising. While a 25 cent per gallon tax may not seem like a lot of money, Strategas research found that, if enacted, “60% of the individual tax cut savings in 2018 would be wiped

What’s Going On with the Stock Market — And Can Trump Fix It?

Yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its largest single-day point decline in history after tumbling 1,175 points. Compounding concerns, this sell-off occurred immediately after another large sell-off the previous trading day (Friday) where the Dow shed 666 points. Although the forces behind these changes are, of course, complex, here are the cliff notes on what is driving this market correction. As USA Today reported, “Fears of spiking inflation and borrowing costs caused investors to rethink their bullish views on stocks, which until just last week had fueled huge gains in the blue-chip Dow… [The market] fears and worries that

The Most Troubling Number from the Latest GDP Report: “2.8%”

Last week, the Commerce Department released a preliminary estimate showing the U.S. economy grew at 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017. This 2.6 percent expansion came as somewhat of a disappointment to economists, who anticipated a “hat trick” of 3 consecutive quarters of 3-plus percent growth, as well as to the New York Fed, which predicted the economy would grow around 4 percent. But while the final quarter of 2017 fell a bit short of expectations, overall the U.S. economic picture remains positive heading into 2018. With President Trump’s tax cuts now in effect, good news has been

Will the Cryptocurrency Boom Continue in 2018? Here’s One Clue…

In the final days of 2017, Bitcoin captured the attention of global markets when the price of a single digital coin surged to a record-high price around $20,000. While the price of Bitcoin has since pulled back (to around $14,600 today), there is one market indicator that suggests digital assets will remain bullish in 2018 — the price of gold. One cannot overstate the role that ‘bad money’ has played in the explosion of demand for digital assets. Though the mainstream financial press often frames the digital asset boom as a product of blockchain technology’s faster transaction speed or greater

President Trump Delivers ANOTHER Quarter of Economic ‘Winning’!

Last week, the Commerce Department announced the U.S. economy grew at 3 percent for the second quarter in a row! If this initial estimate holds up, our economy will compete for its third straight quarter of 3-plus percent growth which, if achieved, would be the first time we landed this economic “hat-trick” since before the 2008 financial crisis. The second quarter’s economic expansion was made more impressive by the fact that the U.S. suffered two major hurricanes during this time span. These hurricanes damaged powerful centers of economic activity, including Texas and Florida, yet the ‘Trump Boom’ still proved resilient.