Why Can’t Trump Get Credit?

Sarah Sanders began her press briefing today by ticking off some of President Trump’s achievements in 2017:

As December winds down, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to look back at what has been, by any measure, a historic year.

Nearly 1.7 million new jobs have been created, and the unemployment rate has fallen to 4.1 percent, the lowest rate in 17 years. The stock market reached a record high more than 60 times and closed above 24,000 for the first time in history.

We’ve rolled back twenty-two regulations for every one new regulation, saving taxpayers over $8 billion and liberating America’s economy from the grip of bloated government.

We’ve withdrawn from, or began renegotiating the trade deals that once threatened to destroy American industry and shipped our jobs around the world.

We finally set up our nation on a path to not only energy independence, but energy dominance. We approved the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, directed the EPA to end the job-killing war on coal, and upon the tax bill’s passage, will have opened up ANWR to responsible energy exploration.

The President has protected America’s communities. We’ve seen the lowest level of illegal border crossings on record. We ended the Obama administration’s dangerous catch-and-release policies, restoring law and order both on the border and in the interior. …

And we’ve promoted peace through strength. Under the President’s leadership, ISIS has lost nearly all of its territory and its most important strongholds in Iraq and Syria.

We’ve restored old alliances, forged new ones, begun rebuilding our military, and made it clear to the world that there is no greater ally, no more fearsome adversary than the United States of America.

We’ve reshaped the American judiciary for generations. Justice Gorsuch was confirmed to the Supreme Court, and 22 judges have been confirmed, including a record-setting 12 circuit judges. …

And this evening, hopefully upon passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the President will have delivered the most significant tax cut in the history of the nation and repealed the Obamacare individual mandate.

The President has delivered on promise after promise, issue after issue, time after time, and we’re just getting started.

Which prompted this question from a reporter:

Q Thanks a lot, Sarah. You ticked off a number of accomplishments that you see the President has made in this first year in office. Why are his approval ratings mired in the mid- to upper-30s, despite those accomplishments?

To which Sanders responded:

A I think oftentimes because, while the President and this administration has been very focused on how we can better help the American people, I think oftentimes the media is focused on other things — certainly not talking about the growing economy; certainly not talking about the crushing of ISIS; not talking about the creation of jobs.

If you look at the amount of time that is spent on negative coverage of this President, 90 percent of the coverage is negative about this President, when, as you just said, I listed off a number of things that have been pretty historic in nature in this first year. And if people were focused a lot more on those things in the media, I think that his numbers would be a lot higher.

We anticipate that they’re going to go up as more and more of these things continue to happen and particularly as more and more people start to feel the impact of the booming economy, the tax cuts that will take place later tonight and go into effect in the first part of February. I think those are all things that are going to help boom our numbers.

She is right, of course. A case in point is the GOP tax bill, which NBC reports has gotten increasingly unpopular:

The tax plan that Republicans are soon expected to pass has grown more unpopular in the last two months, with nearly two-thirds of Americans believing it’s designed mostly to help corporations and the wealthy, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Gosh, where could they have gotten that idea?

In addition, the survey finds that Democrats have overtaken Republicans on which party better handles the economy — their first lead on this question since 2013 and their largest since 2009.

This borders on the insane. After eight years of torpor under Democratic leadership, the economy has taken off during the Trump administration. This response seems contradictory, however:

But it also shows that Americans, by a 2-to-1 margin, believe President Donald Trump’s approach has made the economy better rather than worse, which is one of the bright spots for the GOP in the poll.

The bottom line judgment of poll respondents on the tax bill is negative, with 24% saying it is a good idea, and 41% saying it is a bad idea.

The Democrats’ “tax cuts for the rich” mantra is deeply dishonest, but its constant repetition, amplified by Democrats in the press, has had the inevitable effect. One can only hope that voters will change their minds when they see their own taxes go down. Also, that Trump and the Republicans might start getting some credit for the economic boom to which voters agree that Trump has contributed.

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