President Trump on Friday hailed an unexpected gain in hiring in May as an “incredible” turnaround from the coronavirus shutdown, saying the only thing that can stop the U.S. economy now is Democratic policies.
“This leads us on to a long period of growth,” Mr. Trump said in a Rose Garden announcement at the White House. “We’ll go back to having the greatest economy in the world.”
The president signed an extension of the popular Paycheck Protection Program that will allow businesses more time to use the money through the end of the year.
The unemployment rate for May dipped to 13.3%, an unexpected decline from 14.7% in April as employers added about 2.5 million jobs. Forecasts had been for as many as 9 million job losses.
Mr. Trump called the predictions “maybe the greatest miscalculation in the history of business shows.” He said the next few months will be even stronger as major states such as New York, New Jersey and California reopen from the coronavirus.
“I hope that the lockdown governors, I don’t know why they continue to lockdown,” Mr. Trump said. “The ones that are most energetic about opening, they are doing tremendous business. That’s what this is all about.”
The president said the economic rebound has been “incredible,” and he credited his low-tax and low-regulation policies that had produced a strong economy before the pandemic hit in March.
“This was a hurricane, and it’s going to get better fast,” the president said. “The only thing that can stop us is bad policy — frankly, left-wing bad policy of raising taxes and Green New Deals. The Green New Deal would kill our country.”
Referring to the riots and protests that have roiled the country for the past two weeks, the president said he is renewing his administration’s efforts to help distressed communities.
“Renewal, restoration and recovery of the most vulnerable areas of America is going to be my focus,” he said. “It’s now time for us to work together as we rebuild, renew and recover the great promise of America.”
Mr. Trump urged Democratic governors to call in more National Guard reinforcements to prevent further looting and vandalism, which he said often targets minority-owned businesses.
“Don’t be proud,” he urged the governors. “I hope they also use our National Guard. Call me. We’ll be ready for them [demonstrators] so fast, their heads will spin. We did it in Minnesota, in Minneapolis we were incredible.”
The president referred to George Floyd, the black man whose death at the hands of police sparked nationwide protests, by saying he would be happy with the economic developments.
“Hopefully, George is looking down right now in saying this is a great thing happening for our country,” Mr. Trump said. “A great day for him, a great day for everybody.”
Economist Stephen Moore, a member of the president’s task force to reopen the economy, said the rebound in jobs shows Congress doesn’t need to approve a $3 trillion House-passed measure in emergency relief for workers and states hit hard by the pandemic.
“The V-shaped recovery is here,” Mr. Moore said. “This is the best jobs report in American history, and it shows the resilience of the Trump economy. We don’t need a ‘phase 4’ spending plan. Stop the spending and suspend the payroll tax.”
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