He repeated one of his most common refrains, for example, that before the pandemic struck, his administration built “the greatest economy in history.”
Coming into the year, the Trump team aimed to make that argument the spine of its reelection pitch to voters. And it’s true, as Reuters’s Howard Schneider writes, that before the coronavirus forced an economic shutdown, “record-low unemployment and rising wages were helping the less well-off, while a record stock market buoyed richer Americans.”
In the first half of his term, Trump’s signature tax cuts and a major spending package gave the economic expansion he inherited a turbo-boost of fiscal stimulus. But as they faded, and Trump launched a multi-front trade war that weighed on investment and spending by businesses, growth slowed from 2.9 percent in 2018 to 2.3 percent last year, well short of the 3 percent pace he promised to lock in, at a minimum.