Is Trump Good for the Economy? Stock Market, Commerce Secretary Says Yes

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross touted Monday the stock market’s meteoric rise since President Donald Trump was elected to the White House, citing what he said were fulfilled campaign promises. Ross told CNBC the new administration had altogether created some $4 trillion worth of wealth on Wall Street.

"We're lowering taxes, we're cutting regulations, we're stimulating the workforce, helping to develop the workforce of the future, unleashing our energy resources and redoing our trade agreements," Ross said. "That's the whole package that President Trump was elected on, and it's the whole package that's driven the stock market to $4 trillion of gains since the election."

The economy’s three major indexes have certainly reflected significant gains since Trump’s victory. The Dow Jones has repeatedly reached record heights, improving by 16 percent since Election Day, followed by the S&P 500 at more than 13 percent and the Nasdaq at 18 percent following Friday’s final bell, according to CNBC.

Trump himself cited similar figures last week on his official Twitter page.

Yet, while the president can at least take credit for being in office while the economy surges, the administration has made little headway with actually repealing taxes or cutting away red tape.

The Trump administration has said it planned to roll back regulations in executive agencies like the Departments of Agriculture and Education, according to a Politico report last month. But none have gone through.

Improving the country’s infrastructure had been another major campaign promise from Trump and he is trying to alter the process for attaining federal permits, a system that has been in place since 1969 and has seen few changes, according to director of the White House’s Domestic Policy Council Andrew Bremberg.

“I think it’s something that’s just been lost on people in terms of the regulatory sediment that has built up — decade after decade after decade in many of these areas,” Bremberg told Politico. “You’re talking about legislation that was either passed at the beginning of the last century or somewhere in the middle of the last century, amended a couple times here and there, but whose statutory structure has largely stayed the same. Yet the regulatory structure has just layered — layer after layer after layer on a seemingly constant basis.”

When it comes to tax reform, neither Ross nor the Trump administration can link the economy’s recent boom to work in the White House. Due to investigations into the Trump campaign and Russia’s alleged meddling in last year’s election, as well as Trump’s stoking of scandals on social media, the Republican’s agenda has largely stalled and the only thing close to tax reform has been a one-page proposal released April 26.

Job growth, and whether Trump deserves credit for such creation, has also been a contentious issue. In the first quarter of the year, or Trump’s first three months in office, the Labor Department announced 533,000 jobs had been generated. That number has since climbed to 594,000 following the addition of 138,000 jobs in May, but while the number appears impressive, the president isn’t on pace for his promise of 25 million new jobs despite the unemployment rate reaching 4.3 percent.