Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday August 14th 2018

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Outtakes—The Numbers Rollercoaster

By Rick Outzen

One axiom in politics is beware of statistics. As soon as a politician brags and takes credit for an improvement in a statistic, it will most assuredly go in the opposite direction.

During his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump said, “The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion dollars and more in value in just this short period of time.”

Taking credit for the stock market has been common for our president. When he announced the tariffs on imported solar products and washing machines two weeks ago, President Trump added, “You’re seeing what’s happening with the stock market. People are appreciating what we’re doing.”

In a tweet on Jan. 20, he wrote, “Unprecedented success for our country, in so many ways, since the Election. Record Stock Market, Strong on Military, Crime, Borders, and ISIS, Judicial Strength and Numbers, Lowest Unemployment for Women and ALL, Massive Tax Cuts, end of Individual Mandate—and so much more. Big 2018!”

His cabinet fell into the same trap. Two days after the State of the Union, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin echoed the president’s taking credit for the stock market rally. He said on CNBC, “You can see the stock market’s up, you can see the dollar’s up. There’s a lot of confidence in the Trump administration.”

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