WASHINGTON – Political analysts mostly told TMN that President Donald Trump deserves some degree of credit for the recent economic boom he touted during his first State of the Union (SOTU) address on Tuesday night.
“There is no direct correlation between the president‘s policies and the growth that we see so far in the markets,” said former Republican National Committee Chairman and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele. “That rally had been underway for at least a couple of years.”
“However, it is clear that Wall Street has responded to what the president has been saying and certainly passage of the tax cut legislation went a long way to confirming their hopes that the president would act on his promises,” Steele explained.
When Trump assumed office on Jan. 20, 2017, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed at 19,827.25.
Hours before the SOTU speech, the Dow closed above 26,000.
Last December, Trump signed into law the most comprehensive tax reform legislation since the Reagan administration.
The legislation reduced the top corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. It reduced the top individual rate from 39.6 percent to 37 percent.
The administration has rolled back many Obama-era environmental regulations that many believed were harmful to the expansion of the oil, gas and coal industries. The administration has implemented policies aimed at that preventing U.S. companies from relocating overseas.
Trump in his SOTU speech suggested that his policies were in part responsible for Japanese automobile giants Toyota and Mazda opening factories in Alabama. He referenced Chrysler opening a factory in Detroit and a pledge by Apple to invest $350 million in the U.S. over the next five years.
Former Maryland Democratic Gov. Parris Glendening said he believes Trump should get “some credit for the repatriation” of U.S. companies.
But Glendening said the stock market rally should be taken into context.
“Yes, there has been an increase, but other presidents have seen this as well,” he said.
Glendening said the stock market experienced higher percentage rallies during the administrations of presidents Barack Obama and George H.W. Bush.
Nevertheless, others are praising Trump’s impact on the economy.
“The president’s tax policies, unsupported legislatively by the Democrats, have been and will be materially effective in giving a boon to the economy,” said Richard Vatz, a professor of political persuasion at Towson University in Maryland. “The president and his party’s policies never affect the economy as much as is claimed, but this president’s reversal of regulatory America and anti-corporation and anti-small business America has had a materially positive effect.”