While Fox News pundits gushed over the stock market and a banner proclaimed “PRESIDENT TRUMP’S STOCK MARKET RALLY OUTPACING PAST PRESIDENTS,” a subsequent banner revealed far better S&P growth under President Barack Obama.
Host Charles Payne began by saying, “Folks, the S&P 500 is up more than 40% since President Trump took office and outpacing the 30% average for presidents in general for their first three years in office.” A graphic on the screen compared Trump’s S&P growth compared to the presidential average, from 1918-2019.
Predictably, host Charles Payne wasted no time trying to make partisan hay out of the chart. “Is the strong economy, the strong market at the wind of the president’s back as we head into 2020?” he “asked.”
As Payne spoke, a lower-third banner read, “PRESIDENT TRUMP’S STOCK MARKET RALLY OUTPACING PAST PRESIDENTS.”
But saying that Trump is "outpacing past presidents" suggests he's at the head of the pack when he's really only above average.
It's not hard to figure out why Fox's chart compared Trump to a 30-year average and not those of the recent past presidents: Trump’s 42.4% S&P growth was dwarfed by President Barack Obama’s 63.4% S&P growth at the same time in his presidency.
On-screen graphics showed President Bill Clinton’s growth at 41.2%, while George W. Bush saw a 15.2% drop.
Not shown by Fox nor mentioned by the host nor the three guests was the fact that Trump’s growth is well behind FDR’s and Eisenhower’s (148.7% and 72.4%, respectively)
Guest Gary Kaltbaum almost guaranteed a Trump re-election. He predicted “a landslide” against presidential candidates Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, Kaltbaum predicted only a bit less success for Trump against Joe Biden. “I think he wins handily because people care about their jobs, they care about their wealth, and they care about the future of the economy,” Kaltbaum crowed.
Watch Fox’s Christmas propaganda gift to Trump below, from the December 26, 2019 Your World.
In reality, the economy has mostly continued to recover from the W Recession, along the same trajectory it was on with President Obama. In 2018, there was a sugar high effect from the GOP Tax Transfer, as the super-wealthy received massive tax cuts. There was also a sugar high factor that came from some goosed-down withholding on people’s weekly paychecks starting in January 2018, so that working class and middle class employees saw a bit more every week, and then of course spent it.
But 2018 also included a terrible final quarter, where Pence’s childish spokesman undid all the gains of the first three quarters by instigating a massive tariff war with China and gloating about it. This wasn’t “the media” talking anyone into a problem – it was Pence’s childish spokesman.
2019 saw the stock market recover from that hole, which is why the year’s results look better in the short term. 2019 also saw the working class and particularly the middle class suddenly realize in March that the Tax Transfer had actually hurt them in many cases. People’s expected tax refunds in 2019 were replaced in millions of cases by large tax bills, since their tax burdens had been increased but their deductions had been erased – and the lowered withholding only meant that they owed even more. And those voters are going to get a reminder of how bad the Tax Transfer hurt them again in 2020 – and one would think they’d remember that hit when they go to the polls in November.
Fox News should ask itself why the Pence White House continues to be so unpopular in spite of the economy continuing to benefit from the improvement seen under President Obama. Under normal circumstances, Pence should be at an 80 percent approval at this time. The reality is that the Pence White House has been hateful to everyone but its limited base, and most voters aren’t happy with them. And the thing about voters who are feeling relatively comfortable when they get into a voting booth is that they tend to remember that this was the White House that put children in cages, that cheerled bigotry and that skyrocketed their taxes. Not to mention that this White House was just impeached for abuse of power and obstruction.
If presidencies were reversed the lower third would read ‘Obama Fails, Can’t Keep Pace With Dear Leader’s’. But what do you expect from a ‘news’ cable franchise that hired the Misinformer of the Year, John Solomon?