Let’s be honest

Op-ed writer Eric Engle recently wrote a criticism of Rep. David McKinley for saying President Trump’s first year in office was a success. Let’s look at some assertions:

1) GDP growth: Engle is certainly allowed an opinion, but not his own facts. For the 2nd and 3rd quarters, and probably the 4th quarter of 2017, GDP growth was 3 percent or above under Trump. Obama never even had two quarters in a row of 3 percent growth. His biggest distortion occurred though when he said Obama averaged 2.9 percent growth for his 8 years. This never happened. Obama’s average GDP growth per year was 1.55 percent.

2) The consumer confidence index has greatly increased under Trump because of his pledge to cut taxes, cut regulations and bring jobs back to this country. Something Obama never did.

3) 75 months of job growth: Job growth under Obama was the worst since WWII. 109,000 average per month is roughly 1.1 million jobs per year, NOT enough to keep pace with the number of people entering the labor market. Trump’s first year saw 2.2 million new jobs. The labor participation rate under Obama was the lowest since the 1970s.

4) Reference to tax cuts, Walmart and deficits: Walmart is closing 63 stores, but is converting 10 of them to distribution centers for e-commerce. That leaves 53 stores. Many of those Sam’s people will find jobs at Walmart. I am sure this closure decision was made before the tax cut decision, but I am sorry for the people losing their jobs. On the other hand, 1.4 million U.S. Walmart employees will get a pay raise, some will receive a bonus and their maternity benefits are being enhanced. They all will be paying less in taxes. These tax cuts have incentivized 131 companies to announce pay raises/bonuses for this year. Most of these people will also get a tax cut. As far as the deficits go, did you denounce the $9 trillion that piled up under Obama? I doubt it!

7) Obama did not help kill coal: Obama said “you can build a coal plant, but it will bankrupt you.” He also directed the EPA to go after coal-fired plants. If that is not killing coal, I will eat my hat. I just looked up a fuel comparison chart, and coal still is the cheapest way to generate 100 million BTUs. The U.S., overall since 1990, through land use change and forestry activities has had more REMOVAL of CO2 from the atmosphere than emissions. This info comes from the EPA website.

8) McKinley is not honest: I would say the opinion writer should look in the mirror and see if he can find honesty staring back.

Brian Bennett

Washington, W.Va.