Yesterday, around the time Wall Street trading ended for the day, Donald Trump boasted via Twitter that the Dow Jones Industrial Average “just broke 25,000,” which the president described as “tremendous news.” He made a similar pitch to the Daily Caller, during an Oval Office interview.
“Tax cuts, regulation cuts by far the most that anybody’s ever got, biggest tax cuts. And that’s why you look at the market – we just hit over 25,000. We’re back where we were, right?”
As is usually the case, Trump’s description of the details is wrong. For example, the regressive Republican tax cuts for the wealthy – arguably the president’s most signficant accomplishment – were not “the biggest” ever.
But the specific phrase Trump used yesterday – “We’re back where we were” – stands out for reasons the president doesn’t seem to understand.
Strictly speaking, the boast is not quite right. More than four months ago, the Dow topped 26,700, and we still have a way to go before reaching that height again, bringing us back to “where we were.”
But putting that aside, Trump thinks it’s impressive that the DJIA reached 25,000, apparently unaware of the fact that it keeps reaching 25,000.
It crossed that threshold last January, before dipping lower. Then the Dow reached 25,000 again in June, before dipping lower. Then it climbed back to 25,000 in July, before dipping lower. The same thing happened in October. And November. And then again yesterday.
“We’re back where we were” isn’t just wrong, it’s a pitiful standard for success. In effect, Trump is looking at a stock market that hasn’t grown over the last year or so, and he wants Americans to see it as proof that his economic agenda is working “tremendously.”
Even by the standards of this White House, the argument simply doesn’t make any sense.