Arthur Laffer begins: 

Gross domestic product, or GDP, is the measure of choice when assessing the health of any economy, especially in the United States. GDP, which is measured at annual rates, includes the value of production of all goods and services produced in a country. In the one year since President Trumptook office, the first quarter of 2017 through the first quarter of 2018, real GDP grew at a 2.55 percent annual rate. This is higher than the growth for six of the eight years President Obama was in office, or even five of the eight years when President George W. Bush was in office.

Moreover, the economic growth rate in the first year under Trump is higher than the average annual growth rate for the entire presidencies of both Obama at 2.05 percent and Bush at 1.71 percent. For the full 65 years from the first quarter of 1953 through the first quarter of 2018, annual real GDP growth in the United States averaged 2.95 percent, substantially higher than the first year under Trump.

More from Mr. Laffer:

We also have a serious government spending problem in the United States. Milton Friedman was famous for saying “government spending is taxation.” He is completely correct. If a country taxes people who work and pays people not to work, then we cannot be surprised if a lot more people choose not to work.

At the end of the day, the latest GDP growth figure is a very nice number that aids our recovery from the awful 16 years under Bush and Obama. It will also reduce deficits in the long term if such robust economic growth continues. But the challenge is far from over. We have a lot of work to do to fan the flames of prosperity and to hold at bay the prosperity killers. But one step forward is still one step forward, and it is a heck of a lot better than one step backward.


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