Wineke: Everything’s coming up roses in Trump’s economy

Us Health Virus Briefing
US President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on April 6, 2020, in Washington, DC. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

MADISON, Wis. — You might think that a report showing that the American economy slowed by a percentage greater than that experienced in the Great Depression might be treated as sobering news by President Trump.

If so, you would be thinking wrong.

The president says this is all a temporary blip, mostly caused by China, and that the economy is set to come roaring back “and it won’t take very long.”

“We’re going to have a great next year. We’re going to have a great third quarter and the nice thing about the third quarter is that the results will be in before election day,” Trump promises.

Well … good.

Because week, after week, after week we see about a million-and-a-half additional workers filing for unemployment compensation – more than 50 million men and women who once had jobs are out-of-work so far.

Millions of those who now receive unemployment benefits will see their weekly income drop by $600 starting tomorrow. (Actually, for many of them it’s already started.)

Millions are facing eviction from their apartments or foreclosure on their mortgages. One aspect I don’t see talked about often is that landlords who depend on rents for their own incomes are going to take a big hit as well.

Even the bright spots in the economy seem a bit two-edged. The stock market continues to be more than healthy. That’s good, especially for those of us who depend on our retirement plans to keep us secure. But one reason people put money in stocks is that interest rates are effectively zero. And that’s bad for those of us who depend on fixed-rate investments to keep us secure.

If you want to buy a house, that’s good. You can get a mortgage for under 3% interest. If you keep your money in a bank or savings and loan institution, that’s bad because the interest those institutions can pay is based largely on the interest they can charge.

The Trump reelection team claims the economy added an “incredible” 7.5 million jobs in the past few weeks as businesses reopened. That’s good. However, as COVID-19 cases rise in state after state, governors are calling on many businesses to cut back or to close once again.

Finally, we’re just a couple of weeks away from schools reopening and no one seems to have a clear idea how our schools are going to manage.

I don’t think any of us have any real idea what’s going to happen with the economy.

I’d just feel better if I thought the president and his team were taking the challenges seriously.