Before I type anything more, I want to express and stress the following: This blog is completely unbiased, and factual. No sides will be taken here, it's a simple examination. If 2020 was bad, how about the start 2021 is off to? I don’t believe a year has seen so much change and new developments within the first few weeks as drastic as this year has. Within the first few days, Trump supporters rallied at the capitol building to protest the election results, only to break into the governmental building, and inflict harm on others. This subsequently caused a plethora of social media platforms to ban the President from their sites, with Twitter issuing a permanent ban. The social media giant claims Trump incited the violence that was seen at Capitol Hill, and while we can necessarily draw exact conclusions from his quote, it does seem like blood is on the President's hands here. “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol ... You have to show strength, and you have to be strong”(Trump). While the events that occurred on Capitol Hill are shocking and disturbing, let’s not forget what the left had done in early summer. While the two protests were on different subjects, one a real issue, the other an attempt to win a fair election, we can condemn one while allowing the other. Numerous news media outlets are claiming what occurred on Capitol Hill to be “The worst day in American history”, yet I believe that to be inherently false. So now that we’re six days from Joe Biden’s presidency, what legacy will Trump leave? While I can’t speak on each subject within his presidency, I will speak upon some of his economic successes and failures.
Photo: New York Magazine
First, let's discuss GDP under President Trump. GDP, also known as gross domestic product, is the measure of aggregate output a country has per capita, quarter, or fiscal year. As a percentage, GDP in the US under Trump grew a good amount. In 2017, the GDP grew 2.22%, a .65% change from the previous year. In 2018, GDP grew 3.18%, a .97% change from the year prior. In 2019, GDP grew at a 2.33% rate, flailing from the previous year by -0.85%. In 2018, the US GDP saw it’s highest growth increase since 2005, 13 years prior and under former President Bush, where the US saw 3.51% growth. In Obama’s last year of his Presidency, GDP was at 18.9 trillion dollars. Trump leaves increasing the aggregate GDP to 21 trillion, whilst in the midst of a pandemic.
The one aspect of the “economy” Trump likes to mention is his success within the stock market. He typically proclaims that he has “saved 401k’s”. Is that true? Did the stock market grow at substantial rates under Trump? Let’s see if it did. Since February of 2016, the S&P 500 index, $SPX, grew 101.89%. The S&P 500 is a few hundred dollars shy of hitting the 4000 mark, an unforeseen all time high. Since February of 2016, The Nasdaq, $IXIC, has seen a 202% increase during Trump’s presidency. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by 91.25% since 2016.
Photo: Cato Institute
Still viewing this as an unbiased post, I will give my thoughts on Trump’s economic performance based upon those two metrics. Stock market capitalization increased under Trump, and GDP increased, so the notion that he did “nothing” for our country economically is simply untrue. While I don’t believe there will ever be a more controversial President in our history, I hope Americans will be able to move past the hatred for him, and I hope other Americans will move past their distrust in Biden.