1. According to Donald Trump, “the US doesn’t win anymore”. However, the US labor market shows that 242,000 new jobs were created in February, resulting in an unemployment rate of only 4.9%, which is a leading indicator of a growing economy. In fact, the labor market has become so tight that demand for qualified workers is pushing wages up, a good trend for workers. (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics). And the risk of a recession is not high, according to Liz Ann Sonders, VP and Senior Investment Strategist at Charles Schwab & Co., who says “we remain optimistic that the US is not headed into recession” (March 14, 2016 StraightTalk).
Economic analysis by highly respected economist Ned Davis of Ned Davis Research, also indicates that the US is winning in many areas of the economy. He states in his March 15, 2016 commentary “Our call has been for no recession in the near term”. He notes that unemployment is low, incomes are rising, housing starts are up, credit is still inexpensive, fuel costs are down, the US savings rate is up to 5.2%, home values are rising and American’s wealth is increasing, concluding that “as long as these conditions remain in place, the risk of recession will remain limited”.
The strong US dollar, which is the result of US economic growth and rising US interest rates, does indicate that the US is, indeed, winning all of the time. Although a strong US dollar hurts exports, it does attract investors worldwide, because they prefer that their investments be valued in US dollars. And, while the US economy is growing slowly but surely, Japan is in or near recession, and China may be heading that direction also. As a result, China and Japan are definitely not outperforming the US economy; they are going downhill while the US moves steadily upwards. China has a shadow banking system that is insolvent and has the problem of 65 million homes that have been built but are as yet unoccupied, as well as numerous cities with zero population, like ghost cities. In contrast to Japan’s negative interest rate at banks and China’s insolvent shadow banking system, the US banking system is the best capitalized in the world and is financially strong. Corporations in the US are among the world’s most financially stable and the US produces more technology innovation than any other nation. (Source: Ron Insana, CNBC, March 15, 2016).
All of these facts solidly support the conclusion that the US is winning in many areas of real importance to everyday Americans. Repeatedly saying that we are not winning does not make it so.
2. Another claim that Mr. Trump makes is that “China and Japan are killing us on trade”. The truth, however, is quite the opposite. Ron Insana, a highly respected senior economist at CNBC, says that the US is not being killed on trade by anyone. That was true in the mid 1980’s, but not today. Instead, US exports today are near all-time high levels, including US auto sales and US agricultural exports, putting the US among the biggest exporting nations for agricultural products. The US also enjoys a trade surplus, not a deficit, on exports of services and intellectual property. Trade exports today make up about 23% of the US economy and are at near record high levels. The US deficit with other nations, which is the most widely accepted measure of overall trade, represents only 2.2% of US GDP, the lowest on record. All of these facts combined indicate that China and Japan are not, in fact, killing us on trade as Mr. Trump claims.
3. Mr. Trump has made a big point of saying that “illegal immigrants are pouring over the border”, apparently in a veiled reference to Mexicans coming into the US, and as an attempt to offer his solution to this problem. The truth, however, is that more Mexicans are leaving the US than coming into the US. Most of our immigrants today are from Asia and India, not Mexico or countries south of the US border. My point is that the facts do not bear out the truth of this claim, either.
4. Finally, Mr. Trump claims that he cannot make his federal income tax returns public because he is being audited by the IRS. He has stated repeatedly that he is being audited every year, in fact, and has made a major point of saying that because he is being audited, he cannot share his tax return with the American public. The fact is that he can, but is choosing not to. The IRS itself will not make anyone’s tax return public, for any reason, regardless of whether or not it is being audited. However, there is no law or rule that prohibits an individual from making his own tax return public. Being audited does not preclude Mr. Trump from making his tax return public for any reason. It is his return and he can do anything he wants with it, during, prior to or after an audit; the IRS does not care one way or the other. I can only assume, therefore, that Mr. Trump simply does not want the US public to see his tax return, for whatever reasons of his own, not because the IRS will not allow it. That simply is not true.
I understand how attractive an outsider candidate is who represents change , especially after so many years of malfunctioning and corrupt government. I am fed up also. I do want the truth, however and do not feel that it is helpful to express my anger at our federal government by accepting as truth something I know to be false. A candidate who makes statements that I know to be false, especially on important issues like the US economy, immigration and personal financial accountability raises red flags of credibility and truthfulness and should be challenged on each issue, which is the point of this opinion letter.