Why Americans aren’t better off since Trump took office | FT


Most major news organisations
in the US have a poll going into the election year. Most of those
polls, however, are what we call horse race polls. Who’s up, who’s
down, the candidates compared against each other. We at FT felt that we should do
something slightly different, particularly since one of the
things President Trump has constantly said, is his
case for re-election is built on his economic record. We felt we wanted to see whether
the American people agreed and whether they thought
his economic record and his economic policies were
actually making them better off than they were four years ago,
in that famous Ronald Reagan question that he asked in 1980. So we asked 1,000
voters: do they feel better off than
they were four years ago? And the answer, frankly, came
back as a surprise to us. Two-thirds of the respondents
said they weren’t better off. Now this comes despite the fact
that we have market records in the financial markets. We have an economic expansion
that is at record levels as well. And I think what that shows us
is the dynamic that happened in 2016, where you had a lot of
working-class and middle-class voters who were very angry,
because expansion hasn’t gotten to them yet, that dynamic hasn’t
changed just because Donald Trump is president. And I think, frankly, that is
problematic for Donald Trump. If, indeed, as we’ve seen on
Twitter and recent rallies, he is trying to convince those
voters to support him again, and they don’t feel that his
policies have helped them yet, that could really hinder
the president’s ability to make the argument to
re-elect him in 2020. Why people feel
they’re not better off. The number-one reason is
wages, wages and income. Now, we’ve seen this borne
out, again, in the data. Just on last week, we saw that
the US jobs report for October showed that wages,
although growing slightly, are nowhere near the growth
levels they were pre-crisis. So the whole big market boom,
the whole big economic boom, has not filtered down
yet to your hourly wages that affects your working-class
and middle-class voter. Number two was level of debt,
both for personal and family. So what you’re seeing is
a lot of credit-card debt, a lot of student debt,
a lot of auto debt. Again, things that precipitated
the crisis 10 years ago. A lot of families are
feeling overburdened, and they’re worried about
things like the trade war, which was interesting to us, also. The number one thing
they’re worried about is trade tensions with China,
with Mexico, with the US’s biggest trading partners. But also, number two is
because of healthcare costs. You have a
combination of worries about their personal debt and
worries about healthcare costs. And you’ve seen the Democrats
really hammer on that. That helped them in
the midterms of 2018. They focused very much
on healthcare costs and how that’s impacting
middle-class voters. And you’re seeing it again
in the Democratic primaries, really hammering this
issue of healthcare and pushing a Medicaid for
All because of that issue. So one of the other things we
decided to do with this poll, is we’re going to track every
month up until election day whether voters think
they’re better off than they were four years ago. But we also wanted
to take a snapshot on particular issues
that are affecting voters at that moment in time. The one we asked for
this month’s poll is, how concerned are you about
violence in the Middle East, and to what extent should
the Trump administration take rising oil prices
into consideration when they decide whether to
engage in hostilities with Iran or other belligerents
in the region? And surprisingly,
to me at least, we saw 55 per cent of Americans
said, yes, you should take this into consideration. And that is very
interesting to watch, as the president has
really gone back and forth on the extent to which
he wants to deploy US forces in the region, and
the extent to which he wants to particularly confront Iran. Remember, John Bolton,
national security adviser, who was very adamant, very
hard-line towards Iran, wanting to actually launch
hostilities and counterbalance Iran through the use
of military force. He was basically pushed out,
because Donald Trump disagreed with him. And to a certain extent,
that is because Trump is very worried about his
domestic economic record, again, when he goes
for re-election.

5 thoughts on “Why Americans aren’t better off since Trump took office | FT

  1. “The economic boom hasn’t filtered down YET”… what?
    Does geniuses at FT still believe in the insanity of trickledown economics?
    Does endless amount of data that says Tax Cuts for rich individuals & giant corporations DO NOT WORK; has never entered FT buildings?
    These TaxCuts are NEVER designed to give average workers better wages or create new jobs; those are just marketing slogans to trick idiots to keep voting against their interests … these TaxCuts are just more money for share holders & executives.
    HOW HAVE YOU STILL NOW FIGURED THAT OUT!!!
    Trump’s TaxCuts were permanent for rich people & big business & 82% of all benefits went to the top 1%%.
    Do keep up FT!

  2. Try to fill up a rally for any democrats candidates before you talk about that two thirds. America people have brain you idiot.

  3. really? look at how you live American people? Best in the world – you have everything. Don't get sucked into politics to alter your vote – changes that Trump made are coming, just wait for it! SECOND TERM 2020! We need to support our President again, even more so this time! Don't be fooled by fake media or channels like this – they get paid to tell you this bs "analysis"! lol

  4. Homeowners got screwed thanks to Trump's tax policy. One can only imagine how much effort he has put into manipulating GDP, CPI, and employment numbers. One can only imagine how much effort he has put into using the office of the president for personal gain. Worst president EVER!

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