With the “v-shaped” economic recovery taking shape nationwide, Michigan has begun to bounce back from the artificial coronavirus downturn sooner than most of us dared to hope.
Despite Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s excessively harsh stay-at-home orders, Michigan regained more than 460,000 nonfarm jobs since the start of May, reducing the unemployment rate by almost a whopping 10 percentage points. Blue collar industries that provide the lifeblood for Michigan’s middle class, such as construction and manufacturing, are doing particularly well — those two sectors alone created more than 180,000 new jobs in May, no doubt fueled in part by the President’s focus on ramping up domestic production of medical supplies needed to confront the invisible enemy.
Michigan’s job losses during the pandemic were quite severe, especially compared with other states that allowed citizens a greater degree of economic freedom. We’ve still got a long way to go before we fully recover from Whitmer’s folly, but at least the economic data is showing that Michigan has not missed out on the Great American Comeback.
Just one month into the “v-shaped recovery,” America was already setting all-time records on a number of fronts. Retail sales in the United States increased by a record 17.7 percent from April to May, reflecting massive pent-up demand on the part of consumers who have been forced to postpone purchases for the past few months. We set another economic record in May with the creation of 2.7 million new jobs nationally.
But this was only the beginning. In June, the U.S. economy added a remarkable 4.8 million new jobs, completely shattering all expectations. Those incredible results are a testament to the effectiveness of the Trump administration’s massive relief measures for both workers and businesses.
For individuals and families, the federal CARES Act provided much-needed support in the form of one-time payments of up to $1,200 for most adults and $3,400 for a typical family of four. At the same time, more than 121,000 Michigan businesses were able to receive forgivable loans worth a combined total of nearly $16 billion through the Paycheck Protection Program, helping them keep employees on payroll and meet operating expenses while they waited for Whitmer’s permission to reopen.
These initiatives achieved their purpose of preserving the strong economic foundations we had erected prior to the global pandemic, setting the country up for a rapid return to the historic prosperity that this President’s pro-growth agenda had generated before the Chinese virus reached our shores. Before the COVID-19 crisis, when the national unemployment rate was hovering near a 50-year low, there were consistently far more job openings than there were job seekers, putting upward pressure on wages and forcing employers to offer better benefits and working conditions in order to attract qualified workers.
President Trump’s signature tax cut bill also provided a major boost to our pre-pandemic economy, and will play an equally significant role in our post-pandemic recovery. In Michigan, the average family of four saw a tax reduction of nearly $1,900 per year from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — almost as much as some families received from the CARES Act. Notably, while every income bracket received a tax cut under the Trump tax reforms, the bulk of the relief went to middle-income Americans who have historically been overlooked by both the left and the right.
While we still have a long way to go before we recoup all the losses from the artificial economic downturn, the Trump administration’s pro-growth economic policies provide us with a proven path to prosperity. In contrast, the Obama-Biden administration, which presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden incessantly cites as the model for his own platform, presided over the slowest economic recovery since World War II.
If given the opportunity, Biden would reverse the job-boosting tax cuts and regulatory reforms implemented over the past three years, kneecapping our recovery. Biden’s support of the Green New Deal would also devastate manufacturing and the millions of jobs it supports.
This would be the worst possible time to burden small businesses with additional red tape and burden working families with tax increases, but that’s exactly what Joe Biden wants to do.
Michigan’s “v-shaped” economic recovery has only just begun, and the only way to protect Michigan families is to keep Donald Trump in the Oval Office.
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Terry Bowman is the co-chairman of the Republican Party of Michigan.