President Donald Trump is still crowing that he created the "best economy ever" despite the fact that America is facing 8 percent unemployment heading into a winter that is expected to see even more business closures as coronavirus infections once again surge.
Progressive economists Dean Baker and Jared Bernstein argue in the Washington Post on Monday that Trump has scored a "triple failure" in economic policy with his failure to get the pandemic under control, his failure to effectively push for a new economic relief package, and his failure to rein in America's trade deficit.
The economists begin by zeroing in on Trump's attempts to wage trade wars with countries including China and Canada.
"The data are in, and Trump’s war is lost. The trade deficit in August was $67 billion, its highest level since August 2006," they write. "For manufactured goods, the deficit was $84 billion, the biggest on record with data starting in 1992 (the deficit is also up slightly as a share of GDP)."
Bernstein and Baker contend that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is offering hope in terms of containing the virus and the trade deficit, but they worry that the damage Trump is doing could leave him with a very tall task ahead.
"The bad news is that U.S. economy is currently under threat from Trump’s triple-play failure: the total absence of presidential leadership on virus control and stimulus, and a trade war that has demonstrably backfired," they write.