Republican Convention 2020

No, Donald Trump Did Not 'Shrink' Government

Annual federal spending grew by $940 billion under his signature, even before the coronavirus.

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Early in Wednesday night's Republican National Convention broadcast, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem reeled off a list of reasons she thinks voters should reward President Donald Trump with a second term. Among them: "He shrunk government."

Alas, that statement isn't close to being true.

The most traditional way to measure the size of government is to count how much money it spends. In Barack Obama's last full fiscal year of 2016 (covering, as fiscal years do, the period from October 1 the previous year to September 30 of the annum in question), the federal government spent $3.85 trillion—$2.43 trillion on "mandatory" items (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.), $1.16 trillion on discretionary outlays (more than half of which went to the Pentagon), and $230 billion on debt service. (I'm using here numbers compiled by The Balance, which differ slightly from those of the Congressional Budget Office but are broken out in more detail.)

In fiscal year 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic triggered a record amount of spending, the federal government was on course to cough up $4.79 trillion—$2.98 trillion mandatory, $1.44 trillion discretionary, and $380 billion in interest.

So under Trump's signature, before any true crisis hit, the annual price tag of government went up by $937 billion in less than four years—more than the $870 billion price hike Obama produced in an eight-year span that included a massive federal response to a financial meltdown.

Ah, comes the inevitable rejoinder, but it's Congress that has the power of the purse! Quite so. And that Congress was controlled by the president's political party for 54 percent of his tenure, during which time Republicans jointly agreed through a series of continuing resolutions and must-pass, little-read "omnibus" packages to lift Obama-era spending caps, wave away the debt ceiling limit on federal borrowing, and fulfill Trump's campaign pledge to "save," rather than reform, old-age entitlement programs.

Trump came into office promising to "prime the pump" at the tail end of a historically long economic expansion and stock market bull run, rather than use the opportunity of comparative prosperity to prepare for a rainy day and/or address the long-term fiscal unsustainability that the government's own economists have been warning about for well over a decade. Any case that he has been shrinking government must lie elsewhere.

So how about executive branch employment? According to the St. Louis Fed, crunching numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Trump inherited a civilian workforce of 2.815 million and kept that basically flat until it started rising around last July, presumably because the 2020 Census started to jack the number northward. No cuts.

In a March report, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) produced similar numbers—essentially flat executive branch employment, very mild growth, and expected 2020 uptick. No cuts.

That leaves us with Trump's best case: Did he cut the regulatory state?

Not according to our friends at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a free-market think tank that seeks the reform of the administrative state. CEI produces a valuable annual survey each spring titled Ten Thousand Commandments, which attempts to measure the number, scope, trajectory, and economic impact of Washington's regulatory apparatus.

Here are that report's estimates over the past five years across five categories: overall cost of regulations on the economy, amount of money spent by the federal government to administer the regulatory state, number of new economically significant regulations (with an annual impact of $100 million-plus), the ratio of regulations made to laws enacted (dubbed the "Unconstitutionality Index"), and the number of final rules in the Federal Register.

2015: $1.885 trillion economic impact ($14,832 per household), $63 billion in administration costs, 3,410 final new rules, 30 regulatory rules per law, 61 economically significant rules, 80,260 pages in the Federal Register.

2016: $1.9 trillion impact ($14,809 per household), $63 billion administration, 3,853 new rules, 18 rules per law, 83 economically significant rules, 95,894 Federal Register pages.

2017: $1.9 trillion impact ($14,666 per household), $66 billion administration, 3,281 new rules, 34 rules per law, 68 economically significant rules, 61,308 Federal Register pages.

2018: $1.9 trillion impact (now called a "placeholder estimate," due to the "limited available federal government data and reports…and the illegal neglect on the part of the federal government to provide a regularly updated estimate of the aggregate costs of regulation"), $71 billion administration, 3,368 rules, 11 rules per law, 35 economically significant rules, 63,645 Federal Register pages.

2019: $1.9 trillion placeholder estimated impact, 2,964 new rules ("the lowest count since records began being kept in the 1970s"), $72 billion administration, 28 rules per law, 70 economically significant rules, 70,938 Federal Register pages.

So: Estimated regulatory costs are flat, not shrunk (though the per capita amount is slightly lower), and administrative costs are slightly higher. The two metrics that are noticeably down are the number of pages in the Federal Register (a somewhat symbolic measure) and the annual growth in regulations.

The aggregate total of regulations issued since 1976 (when the Federal Register began itemizing them) has increased from 195,189 at the end of Obama's tenure to 204,802 now.

The Trump administration, as I have documented in the past, has taken more concrete deregulatory steps than any presidency since Ronald Reagan's. But that doesn't mean he has "shrunk" the regulatory state.

More worrying, there have been many signs in the past two years that the president is going to overwhelm any modest deregulatory victories with an increasingly interventionist industrial policy. CEI, which has been somewhat rosier toward the 45th president than I have, sounded some ominous warnings in its annual report this May. "Trump cuts," the authors observe. "But Trump also adds":

Trump sports regulatory impulses of his own that could derail or even eclipse the rollback agenda not just in 2020 but for years beyond….Trump's proclivity for trade restrictions and his ad hoc zeal for antitrust and media regulation (such as swipes at Amazon and the AT&T–Time Warner merger) are well known. There are additional less well-known warning signs of regulatory initiatives that have emerged or heightened during the Trump tenure, such as the president's approval of a permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and his boasting of "the largest public lands package in a decade, designating 1.3 million acres…of new wilderness" for a federal government that already owns a large portion of the continent….

Trump's own regulatory impulses have become the most pertinent concern, particularly where he exhibits substantial agreement with regulatory advocates on issues such as antitrust policy, regulatory action against tech firms and traditional media companies, and industrial and social policy.

Much more in that vein at this link.

You can argue plausibly that Joe Biden and the Democratic Party will grow the government more. But the fact is, the guy railing against socialism night after night this week has grown spending faster than his predecessor and shown considerably less interest in confronting the entitlement bomb, all while cutting neither the federal workforce nor the size of the regulatory state.

There's only one presidential candidate campaigning every day to shrink government. It's certainly not the Republican.

NEXT: Biden Rejects Pelosi's Advice To Skip Debates with Trump

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  1. And this is why libertarians should oppose Trump. You don’t even need another reason, though there are plenty.

    1. Yeah Biden will definitely he better on these things, especially growing government and spending.

      1. But under Biden assholes like Welch and Chipper won’t have to pretend they care about small government

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      2. Biden is not the President.

        1. Trump doesn’t control spending.

          1. So Trump is to spending as Biden is to micturition

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          2. Ok, I think I understand your logic. People shouldn’t vote for Biden, because he will massively increase spending, but Trump’s increases in spending are not his fault, because Congress controls spending.

            1. .0000000016/10

            2. You are pretty pathetic wk.

            3. So Chip’s solution to someone who overspends is o support a guy who will overspend ten times as much.

              Good thinking Chip. Just the kind of logic you’re respected for.

        2. Hence the modal verb.

        3. So we shouldn’t discuss what he would do even though the polls say he will be President?

        4. So, openly dropping the notion that the ideology/party seeks to maximize liberty and pretty nakedly just adopting reactionary opposition as the platform then?

          Nothing says you aren’t succumbing to an abject ideological bent like the notion that there are no other good options except he one that opposes Trump.

          1. Eunuch just wants approval from the “cool” kids

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      4. Ah.. reading comprehension – 4 years of Trump > 8 years of Obama.

        Neither was good but odds are good that Trump still spends more than Biden.

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    2. If only we could go back to the glory days of Obama. Back when reason and it’s fan boys like you didn’t give a shit about the deficit. Maybe Biden will win and those days will return

      1. “Didn’t give a shit?” They gave plenty of shits. Maybe that was while you had waltzed off to glib.

      2. Obama is not the President.

        1. A guy who worked for him is trying to be, so discussion of that history is relevant.

        2. He left trillions in national debt though.

      3. I’d settle for the glory days of Clinton, when the budget was 2 trillion and the deficit was negligible and the national debt hadn’t yet been blown up by Bush, Obama and Trump.

        1. Shh. We aren’t allowed to talk about dem policies.

        2. Back when Republicans controlled Congress.

          1. And back when there were far fewer RINOs.

    3. Trump can’t reduce spending. Democrats even tried to indict him over this. Where have you been?

  2. Waiting to hear the defense of this.

    The Reacharound Defense: “But it would have been worse under Hillary!”

    The 4D Chess Defense: “It’s all part of his strategy, QAnon will asplain it to you!”

    George W Bush Defense: “We had to kill the budget in order to save it!”

    1. “Spending starts in the White House” is almost as dumb as “It wouldn’t have been worse under Hillary”

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        1. Don’t tell Kamala Harris.

      2. Yes, let’s blame Congress. It’s not like Trump sent them a budget or anything, or requested billions of new spending for the military.

        1. Trump made them pass it.

          1. And then signed it.

            1. Signed the veto proof budget. Yes he did.

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        2. Trump asked for some things solid come back

        3. How cute. You think congress respects the executive budget request.

      3. So, the “It’s Not His Fault” defense? Not the fault of the guy with the veto pen? Not the fault of the guy who kept sending over massive bigger budgets? Not his fault? Got it.

        1. He forced them to do

        2. “He’s not in charge of it” doesn’t stop being true just because you don’t like it.

          And “He should hace vetoed the veto proof billls” isn’t a serious adult take from you

          1. They were not veto proof

        3. Veto proof budgets.

      4. My commie aunt started I about ‘Trump’s budget’. When I repeatedly pointed out budgets originate in the House she just got angry.

        Democrats are a lost cause. Just crush them and fix things.

    2. What party are you with and what legitimate alternatives are you offering?

      I’m not going to vote for you but that doesn’t matter because you don’t have a platform or a legitimate alternative. You’re just bitching.

      1. Presumably he’s with the libertarian party, as his message was aimed at libertarians. Libertarians are a party that is currently offering to actually reduce the size of government, or is your contention that the libertarian party isn’t a “legitimate” alternative and therefore people who would prefer its policies should shut up, get in line, and pull the lever for one of the two septuagenarian dictators because those are more “legitimate”?

    3. The level of spending is bad.
      AND
      It would’ve been worse under a D prez.
      This really isn’t a complex concept. It’s rational thought.
      Would you rather take a bullet to the arm or to your empty head?

      1. Therefore, VOTE TEAM RED so that you only get “BAD” spending, not AWFUL spending! That’s a winning slogan!

        1. No, but many people who don’t Trump or even the Republican party feel forced to vote for him. Like it or not, we have a two-party system

        2. And chemjeff comes along to demonstrate irrational thinking.
          Appreciated

        3. Would you prefer $3.4T for COVID 2 or $1T? They are both increases, so they are equally bad and it doesn’t matter, right?

        4. Pedo Jeffy, the republicans are the only survivable alternative your democrat friends. If we were rid of you progressives, then things could be fixed.

    4. Trump can’t reduce spending. Only Congress can.

  3. The most traditional way to measure the size of government is to count how much money it spends.

    The most traditional way to measure the size of government is to count how many employees there are outside of the uniformed military.

    1. The most traditional way to measure the size of government is to count how many employees there are outside of the uniformed military.

      Most traditional since the founding of the country, correct. Most traditional would probably be territory or persons under its control.

  4. The people who claim Trump cut red tape are the same people who take a reduction in the rate of increase as a cut in spending.

    1. Slashed the budget to the bone! We’re living in outright anarchy!

      Of course, Trump did NOT cut the rate of growth. He did not slow down the rate of spending increases. He accelerated it. I would give him props if he did as much as ease the government’s foot off the accelerator, but nearly a trillion in new spending is NOT a reduction in the rate of spending growth. Not even close.

      1. Yes agreed he should have found a way to stop veto roof spending bills.

        1. A lot of bills have veto-proof margins … until vetoed, and a bunch of Congress Critters suddenly have second thoughts. He didn’t even try.

          1. This is chem Jeff level sophistry.

            1. Yes, it appears to be infectious.

    2. Democrats?

  5. First of all I blame Mnuchin not Trump for the initial trillion dollar corona boondoggle. Trump was the only person in the country saying “The country wasn’t built to be shut down” and he was right. He gets a lot of credit for that. (Also remember the “Liberate Michigan” and other states tweet campaign.)

    At this point it’s no longer up to the government to cut spending but we the people. Social security and medicare are bankrupting us and kids today will never see a penny. It’s up to them to tell their grandparents to vote against these programs (while still drawing from them). Promise to support them in their old age. Don’t worry you don’t have to mean it. Beg your grandparents to release us from their death grip. It’s the only way. They are selling you into slavery to fund their retirement. It’s an abomination. Politicians will never solve this problem. But yes, Trump is far better than Biden (who will expand these programs).

    1. Whatever happened to The Buck Stops Here philosophy? It was a huge ht during Obama. Suddenly it’s no longer in vogue.

      1. Trump shouldn’t be signing these bug spending bills or budgets, but please, cut the shit. The democrats are the main drivers of massive spending and control the house, and there are too many RINOs in north chambers for Trump to get any traction to stop them.

  6. He must be the first president to run against his own damn record. “Only I can fix it.” He’s had 4 freaking years and has only made it worse. But yes morons, vote him again because “only he can fix it.”

    Idiocracy to the max.

    1. I’m sure everyone will ignore the virus like you have.

    2. Two of those four years was when he had his party in both houses of congress.

      1. I remember that the economy was booming then we had a virus.

      2. Yes, as all republicans do Trump’s bidding. He even has an ‘EverTrumper’ wing of the party that will do anything he asks, no matter what. I hear they also run National Review and write glowing propaganda articles favoring Trump.

    3. Are you suggesting that the economy was in bad shape before COVID-19?

    4. The belief that Crazy Joe and the party of asses be able to effectively pull off the “The economy is Trumps fault.” and “We need a mask mandate.” sleight-of-hand is pretty idiocratic.

    5. That’s true. It’s not like any other presidential candidate has claimed things that they didn’t accomplish. I mean, I know thanks to Obama the seas stopped rising.

      1. Racial harmony was definitely achieved by the Lightbringer.

  7. T gets 4 more years for firing James Comey and sending Paul Ryan home in tears.

  8. If Trump hadn’t reauthorized unemployment benefits, the Republicans in the Senate would have reauthorized them under the auspices of the House Democrats’ $3.5 trillion stimulus package–$1 trillion of which was for the states. In fact, the refusal of the Democrats to withdraw that bailout for the states was the main bone of contention between the Democrats and the White House.

    Layoffs at the state and local level are huge and accelerating. They’re unable or unwilling to raise taxes in the face of a recession, so they were depending on a bailout from Congress to pad their budgets and avoid more layoffs. Because President Trump denied them that bailout, their only hope to avoid shrinking the size of their government in both spending terms and in terms of the number of personnel and the things they can do with state government is to get Biden elected so he will sign a bailout package for them.

    Yes, the government is getting smaller because of President Trump. This wouldn’t have happened if Hillary Clinton were president, and they’re hoping Biden is elected so they can make the government bigger again.

    “NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is moving forward with “painfully real” plans to lay off 22,000 public workers on Oct. 1 unless another source of cash comes through.

    De Blasio confirmed the layoff plans are progressing after POLITICO first reported Tuesday that agencies have been ordered to come up with a list of employees being considered for job cuts by the end of next week.”

    https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2020/08/12/de-blasio-threat-of-22-000-layoffs-is-painfully-real-1307983

    If denying the Democrats a $3.5 trillion stimulus package with a $1 trillion bailout for the states–that makes states and cities slash budgets and fire people by the thousands? If that isn’t making the government smaller, what is?

    P.S. We haven’t even started talking about President Trump negotiating an exit deal with the Taliban, pulling troops out of Germany, and insisting that the South Koreans either pony up more for the cost of our presence there or get used to doing things without us. Yes, President Trump made the government smaller–than it would have been without him. And if we want the government to become smaller still, President Trump is the clear choice for libertarians.

    1. All this ^ plus the Second Amendment. It’s not a tough decision at all.

      1. We might add the question isn’t only whether President Trump killed Pelosi’s $3.5 trillion stimulus bill but also what Biden will do once he becomes president.

        “Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face. It powerfully captures two basic truths, which are at the core of his plan: (1) the United States urgently needs to embrace greater ambition on an epic scale to meet the scope of this challenge, and (2) our environment and our economy are completely and totally connected.”

        https://joebiden.com/climate-plan/

        That’s from his campaign website.

        The New York Times, linked below, says his proposal will cost $2 trillion over four years. It will vastly expand the size of government–and I suspect it will cost more than advertised, too.

  9. Wow this thread is full of antifa-suckers trying to make Nancy’s profligacy Donald’s fault. How sad.

    1. .00000000029/10

      1. See people, this is how you hammer both sides.

        1. Tough, but fair

  10. I love the cliched level of these articles. I mean, is there a rotating calendar schedule for every couple of weeks or so for a new article about how Trump is not shrinking the size of government? The scheduling appears to be more often than when a Democrat is president. But that’s understandable, gotta make sure not to lose the seat at the cool kids’ table.

    Honestly though,I get that this is a standard article to write, but does anyone at Reason really believe that any president or congress will ever decrease the size of government? I mean, you know that is never going to happen without some huge event occurring, right? At this point, the goal is to slow the growth of government. Decreasing the size is, for the most part, impossible.

    1. Yes, totally vote for the LP candidate (which I plan on doing); because she will shrink the size of government with zero support in Congress. The LP needs to focus on house and senate seats for a cycle or two. And state seats. Without those a LP president is basically symbolic.

      1. An LP presidential campaign gets a lot more publicity (which is the main point of an LP campaign), and would come with a lot more immediate impact in the unlikely event of a victory. It’s not like the LP could just ring up some House or Senate wins by spending more money.

        But even one LP Senator could make a huge difference, given the close balance of power in the Senate between D and R. Too bad Amash gave up.

        1. I think they could have a shot at some western House Districts. Western conservatives are halfway to being libertarians already.

        2. And that strategy has gotten a lot of Ls into government at lower levels?

          How long has the LP been doing this?
          Has government receded during that time, or expanded?

          In short: do you have ANY evidence whatsoever that anything the LP has done or is doing has produced positive results?

          1. Shhhh! You’re going to summon Hank, talking like that. I don’t want to read his nonsensical spiel about spoiler votes for the millionth time.

        3. The LP campaigns are intended to generate enough publicity that there will be enough donations to keep LP officials employed. They don’t care about actually getting people elected.

      2. Again you are on point. The best LP strategy is to get House seats.

    2. When D’s are in charge: OMG THE FUCKING DEFICIT IS AWFUL
      When R’s are in charge: MEH WHAT ARE YA GONNA DO

      1. Do you cry at night?

      2. Please don’t expose the orange snowflakes to their own hypocrisy

  11. Jo Jorgensen will be the first presidential candidate to become less well known in November than she was when she clinched the nomination. Not that she isn’t the best candidate but because the US media (both legacy and social), taking their cue from the Chinese controlling Hong Kong, will disappear her from the internet. Why? Because she would most likely take votes away from Biden.

    1. Endorsing marxism didn’t help.
      For that, might as well vote D (or G)

  12. So he’s the best in 3 decades but you have a prediction that, despite him being the best in 3 decades, he’ll mess it all up soon.

    Real story: relatively great. But you want to make up a different story and tell that one to mitigate the great story. Because reality is secondary at Reason.

  13. The revolution will not be televised.

    &

    The national debt will never be paid off.

  14. Donald Trump is Barack Obama’s third term.

    His nastiness and lies can not change that he is a lifelong tax (yes, tariffs are taxes) and spend big city, big government Democrat.

    Trading DC swamp rats for NYC sewer rats has gotten us only even more septic rats.

    1. This has always baffled me about republican support for Trump. What traditional republican virtue does he believe in? He’s not pro-life, he’s not pro-gun, he’s not pro free trade, he’s not a hawk, he probably can’t even spell “fiscal responsibility”… his only republican platform seems to be shouting cartoonish anti-immigration slogans (and then not following up on them). Other than that his primary republican virtue seems to be “at least he’s not Hillary Clinton”.

  15. The numbers do not matter. Congress or the Fed has no intention of paying off any debt. By 2030, if the country survives that long, the debt will be well over $40 trillion and headed to $50 trillion. It doesn’t matter when electronic pesos can be created from space and used like a credit card. Any cracks in the economy or financial markets will be filled in with electron pesos.

  16. I bet he grew it less than any democrat would have. And based on how democrats use the term “budget cuts”, that’s a cut.

  17. Trump is no fiscal conservative, but Biden is promising to spend a trillion more than Trump on the Green Raw Deal, and the Dems want to spend two trillion more on bailouts to the states that closed their own economies down.

    Guess I’ll be voting for Jorgensen.

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  19. Matt Welch moves to New York along with Michael Moynihan and Kmele Foster and start a podcast. Problem – the only guests they can get in NYC are liberals like the ever-unhappy-wherever-she-works Bari Weiss and Harry Dreyfuss known primarily as the son of actor Richard Dreyfuss. To keep getting guests they all start seeing the “left” side of things.

    The desire to “fit in” moved them further and further left until, as fate would have it, NYC became as inhabitable as Aleppo. Now they want to leave. Ha Ha. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving trio.

    Anyone who grew up in New York knows that the city is utterly corrupt to the core. When the corruption peaks, the city reverts to violence. Then the violence dies down as the productive people move out, the city goes bankrupt, there’s a bailout of the large banks, the city revives and the corruption begins to build again. Rinse and repeat.

    1. I’ve been listening to the Fifth Column since the beginning and none of what you’ve said here is correct.

      1. Says the liberal.

        1. Which of my beliefs or statements makes me a liberal? Be specific instead of just talking shit.

      2. I’ve heard most episodes, and YES it has shown Welch and Moynihan to have severe cases of TDS, but Kmele is a treasure. Reason should fire half the staff and pay Foster to write for Reason.

        What say you, KMW? Wanna Make Reason libertarian again?

  20. Last I heard, the House sets the budget.

    1. Shhh. The legislative branch doesn’t exist here.

  21. Good analysis. The thing to remember here is that Trump is not trying to make the country better, he trying to make a sale.

    1. You could try to grow up.

  22. Donald Trump is, of course, a “fiscal liberal” or deficit dove if you will, and never pretended to be anything else.

    The most important thing Trump could potentially do is to restore federalism. But that won’t happen. Trade and immigration are his winning issues.

  23. Of course trump tried and did cut government.

    Its another reason why the lefties and their media propagandists hates him.

    1. How did he cut government?

  24. He knows how to save money for himself though. Don’t pay contractors, get taxpayers to foot the bill for his political convention.

    1. As you know how to post lie after lie after lie, after lie.
      Fuck off, slimy piece of lefty shit.

      1. Do you think his “convention bounce” will include fewer total people than the number of people
        In his audience who will be dead of covid in a month?

        1. As you know how to post lie after lie after lie, after lie.
          Fuck off, you pathetic piece of lying shit.

  25. “…Trump came into office promising to “prime the pump” at the tail end of a historically long economic expansion and stock market bull run,..”

    Welsh,
    You.
    Are.
    Full.
    Of.
    Shit”
    “Barack Obama Will Be The Only President In History To Never Have A Year Of 3% GDP Growth”
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-30/barack-obama-will-be-only-president-history-never-have-year-3-gdp-growth

    Yes, an ‘historically long’ run of pathetic results.
    Wanna be taken seriously? Try comparing Trump’s and Obo’s economic results to increased debt; you might find the results to be somewhat different than your pathetic cherry-picking suggests.
    Other than that, stuff your TDS up your ass so your face has someone to talk to.

    1. And then:
      “Middle-Class Income at Record High Under Trump with Lower Taxes”
      https://www.netadvisor.org/2019/10/17/middle-class-income-at-record-high-under-trump-with-lower-taxes/

    2. “So how about executive branch employment? According to the St. Louis Fed, crunching numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Trump inherited a civilian workforce of 2.815 million and kept that basically flat until it started rising around last July, presumably because the 2020 Census started to jack the number northward. No cuts.
      In a March report, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) produced similar numbers—essentially flat executive branch employment, very mild growth, and expected 2020 uptick. No cuts.”

      You left out “no increases”; wonder why?

    3. President Obama took over during a severe recession and brought this country’s economy back. That is history, deal with it. Obama left Trump a good economy which the current President squandered. That is also history, deal with it. That President Obama never had 3% growth is irrelevant because he had a sustainable economy.

      1. Obama took over during a severe recession and extended it. It’s pretty easy to follow the Keynesian blueprint for repeating all the same mistakes that cause and prolong economic hardship.

        1. Big assertion with no real proof that the recovery would have changed under another policy. What we can say from history is that the Obama Administration oversaw the recovery from the Great Recession of 2008 and that the recovery extended well past the President’s term in office.

        2. Obama suppressed the typical recovery or else there would have been little recovery available for Trump to poach. Trump extended the winning streak, which gets harder the longer it continues, until the Ass governors shut down. It was so strong it has now snapped back in just 6 months to start setting new stock market records. And all this while tariffing the ChiComs relentlessly. If he had a bit of charm in public they would be carving his face on Mt Rushmore.

  26. “So: Estimated regulatory costs are flat, not shrunk (though the per capita amount is slightly lower),”

    I’ll take flat over three years.

    1. And while CEI may estimate the economic results, even Brookings says he’s doing some work here:
      “Tracking deregulation in the Trump era”
      https://www.brookings.edu/interactives/tracking-deregulation-in-the-trump-era/

      Welsh, it’s understandable that you wish to puff JJ for votes, but you’ve made an ass of yourself as an incompetent executive here many times already, and it doesn’t help your rep when you post such bullshit.
      Please find work elsewhere and turn this over to a competent manager.

  27. Anybody here joining up for the Goodyear boycott the president is pushing? Anyone?

    1. If I needed tires, I would; they’re a commodity, so making a political statement should leave the management open to a share-holder suit.
      And brain-damaged lefties are confused about that…

    2. Yes and no. I never go with Goodyear. My tires need to be changed in the next month. It’s unlikely Goodyear will be the best value anyway, but if they are then I’ll go with the next best option. I don’t like boycotts and have always chosen to shop or not shop places based on price and convenience. If a company does something especially annoying that doesn’t effect the actual product then maybe I go with a similar competitor

  28. Shorter Welsh:
    “I hate Trump and he hasn’t done what his campaign promised!!!”
    And he’s done ‘way more than we could have hoped for from the hag, and ‘way more than the D POTUS ‘mulligan stew’ would likely ever do.
    I live in CA; JJ will get my vote, since it won’t affect the outcome one bit. Trump’s a blow-hard and a loose cannon, and it I lived where my vote counted, he’d get it over the lefty scum from the D’s.

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  34. What is he lying about? Trump has repeatly used taxpayer funds for his golf trips and Melania’s attempts to get away from him. He’s used more than Obama did, but he loves to point out how much golf Obama played. I know you’ll call me an asshole and say I should die. I’d rather be an asshole than a backwards, inbred, imbecile like you Sevo. When Biden wins I’m tracking you down and eating you redneck pos.

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