Jan 18, 2018

Trump's his own worst enemy: 2018 edition

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

President Trump has often been his own worst enemy when it comes to his public image. He'll criticize the media for distracting from his administration's accomplishments, but in reality he's the man at the center of it all who's dictating the news cycle.

Imagine if: Trump didn’t call countries "shitholes," taunt his chief of staff over immigration on Twitter, or spend days defending his mental health. The American people might just focus on what's going well.

  • Lowest jobless claims in 1973: U.S. filings for unemployment benefits have fallen to the lowest level in almost 45 years, a sign the labor market will labor market continues to strengthen in 2018.
  • The stock market is at the highest level in history: The Dow closed above 26,000 on Wednesday, continuing a year of record-breaking increases.
  • Apple's making a massive tax payment: Apple plans to bring back the vast majority of its overseas cash — on the order of $250 billion — and several new spending plans that will directly contribute to the U.S. economy.
  • Companies are doling out raises and increased employee benefits, including Walmart, Bank of America, AT&T and Boeing, among others.
  • All other advanced economies are growing too, in part fueled by the U.S.: China's growth ticked back up in 2017, the first time in 7 years. Meanwhile, the World Bank predicts that the global economy will grow 3.1% this year.

Go deeper

Tech can't remember what to do in a down market

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Wall Street's two-day-old coronavirus crash is a wakeup alarm for Silicon Valley.

The big picture: Tech has been booming for so long the industry barely remembers what a down market feels like — and most companies are ill-prepared for one.

Brace yourself for a coronavirus outbreak

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Public-health officials’ warnings about the coronavirus are sounding increasingly urgent, with one top CDC official asking the public yesterday "to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad."

Reality check: Other administration officials, including President Trump himself, were more subdued in their assessments. But underneath those tonal differences, the reality of the coronavirus is the same: It spreads quickly, and has already spread to many countries, making it likely to start spreading here, too.

Exclusive: Pro-Trump group plans post-Super Tuesday blitz on Democrats

Democratic presidential hopefuls take the debate stage in South Carolina. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Pro-Trump super PAC America First Action is preparing to unleash a series of targeted, swing-state attacks on the Democrats most likely to face President Trump after Super Tuesday, people familiar with the group's plans tell me in an exclusive preview of its strategy.

The state of play: The group has been tracking favorable/unfavorable ratings in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania for 2020 candidates Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg — under the theory that if Trump wins each of these six states he would win re-election.