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Will Donald Trump or Joe Biden be better for the US economy? Show more Show less
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As the 2020 US election approaches, the candidates' approach to key policy areas is coming under scrutiny. Their plans for the economy are especially important in the wake of the coronavirus and subsequent soaring unemployment rates and economic recession. Will Donald Trump or Joe Biden be better for the US economy?

Donald Trump will be better for the US economy Show more Show less

In the four years since Donald Trump became US President, the economy has surpassed growth expectations and created millions of new jobs.
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Donald Trump has revitalised the American economy

Despite the impact of the novel coronavirus on the American economy, its recovery has outpaced other nations thanks to Donald Trump's favourable economic polices.

The Argument

Donald Trump’s presidency is responsible for robust economic growth in the US, which is already showing signs of recovery despite the coronavirus pandemic. In the first three years of Trump’s presidency, the US economy created 6.6 million jobs[1] and unemployment was at its lowest in over 50 years in February 2020 at 3.5%.[2] In 2019, there were also around 4.2 million fewer people living in poverty compared with 2018 and the number of Americans on food stamps was at its lowest since 2009.[3] Under Trump, average monthly job gains prior to coronavirus were “robust” and average hourly wages grew by over 3% in the year up to February 2019. Despite the inevitable economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the US economy is showing signs of resilience. The Trump administration is aiming for a V-shaped recovery, and the August jobs report by the Labor Department shows a sharper decline in unemployment than was forecasted by economists, from 10.2% to 8.4%, corresponding to a gain of 1.4 million jobs.[4] Labor Department data also shows that businesses created 10.6 million jobs between April and August, a record for a four-month period.[5]

Counter arguments

Many of the achievements of Trump’s economic programme owe their success to the Obama administration. Unemployment levels were low at 4.7% when Trump took office and had been in decline since 2011, whilst levels of growth and job creation under Trump prior to the coronavirus pandemic followed a similar trajectory to those during the last three years of Obama’s presidency. For more on this argument, see the argument entitled ‘Joe Biden is responsible for the strong economy under Trump’. Also of concern is the growing national debt as a result of Trump’s tax cuts - as a result of coronavirus aid, national debt is now the highest it has been since the Second World War. Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic triggered a loss of over 22 million jobs - even considering those that have been regained, approximately 11.5 million people remain unemployed. In the second quarter of 2020 (April, May and June), the US economy contracted by over 30% and high numbers of unemployment have led to an increase in food stamp claimants, leading to fears regarding the wider impacts of long term unemployment on consumer spending. The Trump administration needs to introduce a further stimulus package to support businesses and prevent a more significant slump.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.investopedia.com/comparing-the-economic-plans-of-trump-and-biden-4843240
  2. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-45827430
  3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/09/05/trump-obama-economy/
  4. https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/trump-labor-day-us-economy-jobs-report
  5. https://uk.reuters.com/article/usa-election-debates-economy/fact-checking-u-s-economic-claims-in-tumultuous-trump-biden-debate-idUSKBN26L0ME
This page was last edited on Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 15:33 UTC

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