If recent public remarks are a guide, when President Donald Trump offers his assessment of the state of the union on Tuesday night, he will unequivocally declare it strong. He will talk about an economic boom “the likes of which the world has never seen before.” He will tout his exploits in commercial diplomacy, such as the “massive win” he secured for American workers by renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement and his “righting the wrongs of the past” by forcing China to buy more American farm goods.
The Democratic rebuttal is as sure to proclaim the opposite. To hear the party’s leaders talk, you’d think the U.S. still was stuck in its post-recession funk. “While there may be some indicators that are great for us — the stock market’s up, this or that — that isn’t increasing consumer confidence to the extent that we needed it to,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told The Wall Street Journal in December.
So with staid economic data becoming the latest weapon in partisan warfare, how can we know the true state of the U.S. economy? For an answer, the genuinely curious should consult an expert source that has no stake in the outcome of the election.
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