The Democrats face an insurmountable obstacle in their ongoing quest to oust the president. Trump himself succinctly captured their dilemma last Friday: “Unemployment Rate, at 3.5%, drops to a 50 YEAR LOW. Wow America, lets impeach your President.” Numerous polls purport to show increased public support for impeachment, yet Trump clearly doesn’t take them seriously. He knows the voters will make the final call. If the House impeaches him, the chances of a Senate conviction are nil. Thus, the president’s fate will be decided in November 2020. Will the voters support an impeached president? If the economy remains strong, he’ll win in a landslide.
Given the choice between reelecting a chief executive who presided over a robust economy while fending off an illegitimate impeachment and replacing him with one of the Democratic authors of that outrage, the voters will back the president in huge numbers. He would inevitably be seen by his base as a martyr to the most corrupt elements of “the swamp,” and they will be out for revenge. Meanwhile, a majority of swing voters would most likely regard him as vindicated, while viewing the Democrats unfavorably — having seen their partisan chicanery laid bare in the Senate trial. The support of swing voters, however, will rely heavily on the state of the economy on Election Day.
This brings us to the latest report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). It was full of good news: “In September, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage points to 3.5 percent. The last time the rate was this low was in December 1969, when it also was 3.5 percent.” In addition, Hispanic unemployment dropped to 3.9 percent, an all time low, and black unemployment maintained its lowest rate ever at 5.5 percent. The economy added 136,000 new jobs, and the figures for August were revised upward from 130,000 to 168,000. The Wall Street Journal reports that the U-6 rate, which measures underemployment, was also at a long-time low:
A broader measure of unemployment and underemployment — which includes those too discouraged to look for work, plus Americans stuck in part-time jobs but who want to work full-time fell to 6.9% in September from 7.2% in August. The so-called U-6 rate is now at the lowest level since 2000.
It goes without saying, of course, that the Democrats are doing their best to find bad news in the BLS report. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) released a statement bemoaning all manner of fictitious economic ills: “Poor and many middle-class families are still struggling. Black and Hispanic people have accumulated much less wealth than other groups, which makes them vulnerable to recessions and less prepared for retirement.” This nonsense is not merely refuted by BLS data but is also contradicted by that notorious hive of MAGA zealots at the Atlantic. In an article titled “The Best Economic News No One Wants to Talk About,” Derek Thompson notes this inconvenient fact:
Imagine a world where wage growth was truly stagnant only for workers in high-wage industries.… a labor market where earnings growth for low-wage workers, such as those who work in retail and restaurants, had doubled.… where wages for the poorest Americans were rising twice as fast as hourly earnings for high-wage earners.… all three of those things are happening right now.
Thompson goes on to explain why Democrats never acknowledge these facts:
Democrats don’t want to talk about low-income wage growth, because it feels too close to saying, “Good things can happen while Trump is president.” … But good things can happen while Trump is president.
That is obviously true, but one can’t help but wonder how such heresy got past the editors of the Atlantic. This is a group of people who fail to laugh when erstwhile President Obama says he is responsible for the economic upturn that has occurred since his departure from the White House. An even more shocking confession came from the New York Times a few months ago. In a piece titled “Why Wages Are Finally Rising, 10 Years After the Recession,” Ben Casselman attempts to solve this mystery. He is less willing to commit heresy than Thompson, however. He isn’t so unmindful of his employment prospects that he credits Trump’s policies, but he does admit the following:
Wage growth, long stuck in neutral, has at last found a higher gear.… The recent gains are going to those who need it most. Over the past year, low-wage workers have experienced the fastest pay increases … a result of a tightening labor market that is forcing employers to raise pay even for workers at the bottom of the earnings ladder.
This tightening labor market is obviously a result of the dramatic increase in job creation fueled by Trump’s tax cuts and aggressive deregulation of business. Moreover, no matter how much of the president’s time the Democrats waste on impeachment, the market forces already set in motion by his policies will continue to produce economic growth, create jobs, and increase real wages. Unless he is caught on video eating a baby, the impeachment charade will eventually end, Trump will emerge stronger politically, and the economy will be growing apace. Then, on Election Day, the voters will decide whether they prefer paychecks or Democratic pie in sky. Most will vote for paychecks.