First, this from a recent Wall Street Journal article:
“Wages for rank-and-file workers are rising at the quickest pace in more than a decade, even faster than for bosses … Gains for those workers have accelerated much of this year, a time when the unemployment rate fell to a half-century low. … Pay for the bottom 25 percent of wage earners rose 4.5 percent in November from a year earlier … Wages for the top 25 percent of earners rose 2.9 Percent.”
Thank you to the American economy and people, and to President Donald J. Trump for his tax cuts and reining in excess regulations and the administrative and deep state. In three years, he’s achieved what Barack Obama could not in eight years. And Democrats wonder why people find their rage and hate-driven impeachment fantasies turning folks off.
More from John Merline in “Government Dependency Plunges Under Trump – Why Aren’t We Celebrating?” He emphasizes that under Trump, dependency is down, after rising during the Obama years.
The most important thing is that employment increased by 6.2-million jobs in President Trump’s first 34 months. When he took office, many economists claimed we were already at full employment.
Merline notes: “The healthy labor market has resulted in something even more important yet little noticed: A sharp trend away from dependency on federal welfare and other benefits.”
Through the first half of this year, enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) declined nearly 1.2-million. Better yet, the decline in Trump’s first 34 months was 6.4-million – to a level lower than Obama’s in late 2009.
Democrats, progressives and statist liberals like to brag when dependency rises on their watch, as if that demonstrates their compassion. It does no such thing. It only shows their policies retard economic growth and diminish overall human wellbeing. Lower dependency numbers point to a vigorous economy and society and human flourishing.
On another front, the number of workers drawing Social Security Disability Insurance benefits dropped from 8.8-million in January 2017 to 8.49-million as of May 2019 – the lowest level since August 2011.
My first reaction was: The drop reflects the retirement of Baby Boomers, who then move from Disability to Retirement. That’s true. However, new disability applications are also down, nine percent lower this year than in 2016. Hence, the Boomer effect does not explain the whole trend, which again shows more people being productive and thus contributing to a better society.
What about Medicaid, which poses an even bigger threat in the future than Social Security? Enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program dropped from Trump’s inauguration to March of this year by 2.5-million. This, despite the fact Virginia has expanded its program by 300,000 people under ObamaCare.
And ObamaCare overall? Its enrollment has declined every year since Trump took office, and it is now over 1-million below what it was at the end of 2016. Recent Supreme Court rulings vacating taxes for those without insurance will accelerate this good trend.
Finally, the need for federal welfare, either Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or what are called “separate state programs.” These numbers have dropped more than 800,000 under Trump.
Our society rightly takes care of folks who, through no fault of their own and despite their own reasonable efforts, cannot provide for themselves. But fewer, not more of such cases is a good thing and the mark of better policy. Most Republicans and limited government conservatives understand this. Folks trying to signal their virtue by spending other peoples’ money via higher taxes don’t get these fundamentals.
What about the larger picture for freedom and prosperity compared to the rest of the world? The 23rd edition of Economic Freedom of the World, a joint project of the Cato and Fraser Institutes, shows the United States has risen from sixth to fifth among 162 countries and territories.
We still trail Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and Switzerland in the combined 42 data points over five broad areas. But during Obama’s tenure, we sank as low as twelfth.
Thanks to the American people and President Trump. And Happy 2020!!!
Ron Knecht has served Nevada as state controller, a higher education regent, economist, college teacher and legislator. Contact him at RonKnechaol.com.