James Carville, one of President Bill Clinton’s campaign strategists, desperately wanted to keep his client on message. To help the effort he hung a sign in the campaign’s Little Rock headquarters that read:
- Change v. more of the same
- The economy, stupid
- Don’t forget health care
It’s the economy, stupid. And right now, the Trump economy is soaring to new heights.
Jobs are increasing. According to the latest jobs report the economy created 200,000 jobs in the first month of the year. Wages are finally beginning to rise. After years of stagnation, average hourly earnings jumped 2.9 precent in January from a year earlier, the fastest growth since the recession began. And the stock market is humming. The Dow Jones industrial average is up more than 40 percent since Election Day, which is the equivalent of $7 trillion in increase wealth.
President Trump isn’t stopping there. Speaking to world leaders, corporate executives and investors at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the businessman-turned-president became a salesman. And he had a great product to pitch: A reinvigorated United States.
“The world is witnessing the resurgence of a strong and prosperous America,” Trump told a packed auditorium. “I’m here to deliver a simple message: There has never been a better time to hire, to build, to invest, and to grow in the United States. America is open for business, and we are competitive once again.
President Trump went on to highlight how the massive tax reform bill is putting more money into more pockets, how his regulatory reductions are “creating an environment that attracts capital, incites investment and rewards production,” and how he will respond strongly to unfair economic practices that “are distorting the global markets and harming businesses and workers.”
To the chagrin of liberals everywhere, Davos ate it up. As Niall Ferguson wrote in the Washington Post: “They may hate his tweets and his politically incorrect rhetoric, but they have spent the past year loving his economic policy to bits.” Or as Ed Rogers explained in the Post: “Unlike President Barack Obama, who only saw the economic elite as just another group he could lecture, Trump truly believes in the role these individuals — and the businesses they run — pay in promoting prosperity and generating wealth.”
Fortunately for Trump and his powerful Davos message, there is no need to conjure the image of a professorial Obama who was content with orating rather than doing. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democrat leaders are happy to offer a nice contrast. Here’s the Post’s Ed Rogers again:
President Trump was in command at Davos talking about economic growth and prosperity, while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and disgraced former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) were babbling and belittling thousand-dollar bonuses and increased take-home pay for American workers. Specifically, in case you missed it, Wasserman Schultz actually said she is “not sure that $1,000 … goes very far for almost anyone.” And Pelosi, who described a $40-per-paycheck Obama-era tax cut as a “victory for America,” said thousand-dollar bonuses are just “crumbs.” These comments are gifts that will keep on giving.
Democrats are flustered by the economy’s success under Republican leadership. Their strategy of opposing every single one of President Trump’s ideas on partisan grounds has backfired spectacularly. Rather than be able claim a modicum of credit, they are left trying to convince Americans that raises and bonuses are “crumbs.”
All Republicans have to do to capitalize on this is to stick to the message Trump used at Davos and repeated in his State of the Union. Highlight the policy changes that have jumpstarted the economy, take pride in America and Americans as the greatest creators on earth, and be willing to stand up to others who attempt to exploit the system. After all, it’s the economy, stupid.