Frank Keating: Donald Trump is the best choice for president to manage the U.S. economy


President Donald Trump (left) and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden (right) participate in the first presidential debate with moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News, center, on Sept. 29 at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland.

Donald Trump is hard to like. Big. Orange-headed. Noisy. Quintessential New Yorker. Larger than life. A casino and golf course developer. A celebrity TV star. A real estate guy. A swashbuckler who rolls over the landscape. Crude. Rude. Thunderous. The opposite of what mother would want us to be.

Can we really take four more years of this? Can our ears stand it?

The answer is that we have no choice. Trump may be hard to like but he will be harder still to lose.

Just look at the record.

Before the coronavirus euniched the economy, the U.S. economy was on fire. Economic Output was up 2.9%. Homeownership was up. Labor force participation was up. Manufacturing employment was up. Illegal immigration was down. The bottom half of the asset and income ladder was recording strong income growth. Unemployment fell to a 50-year low. Minority wages were rising at an impressive clip. Tax cuts and a choke hold on excessive regulation certainly helped. But on Trump’s watch, the United States also became the world’s largest energy producer. That fact turbocharged the economy. Go fracking!

And Trump finally said “enough“ to China. During my U.S. government service at Treasury and Justice departments under President Ronald Reagan, I was stunned by the madness of our business policy toward China. Americans were encouraged by both political parties to invest in China. China welcomed the cash and craftily demanded a majority ownership stake in the China-based business. That meant that the Chinese would plunder U.S. technology, and business, trade secrets and patents. Billions of dollars of our priceless gray matter were lost to Chinese theft.

Trump stopped the bleeding. He also promised that outsourced manufacturing jobs would return home.

And the alternative? Joe Biden. A lifetime Washington fixture who former Republican and Democrat appointed Secretary of Defense Robert Gates described as “wrong on virtually every major national security and foreign policy issue over the past four decades.”

And he would tank the economy. As described by a recent issue of The Wall Street Journal, “The Biden economic plan is best understood as Obamanomics pulled left by Bernie Sanders. He’d raise taxes by $3 trillion by his count (about $4 trillion by independent calculations). His spending plan runs runs to at least $7.4 trillion. His labor proposals are the most pro union since… 1935.”

He would ban right to work laws like that voters placed in the Oklahoma Constitution in 2002. He would lower the Medicare age to 60. Raise the federal income tax. Raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, chilling our ability to sell overseas. He would demand net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 destroying the oil and gas industry of Oklahoma. Regulation would balloon. A reprise of the Obama economy.

And there is more. But you get the picture.

Some may have to swallow hard, but four more years of Trump are a better bet than four years of Biden.

Frank Keating was the governor of Oklahoma 1995-2003.

Frank Keating was the governor of Oklahoma 1995-2003.