Only President Trump Knows Real Unemployment Rate

Don’t hold it against him that he’s flirted with running so many times. It can take a while for the right man and the right moment to find each other.

Businessman Donald Trump speaks to guests gathered for the Republican Party of Iowa's Lincoln Dinner at the Iowa Events Center on May 16, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

This is an excerpt from Bloomberg's daily Opening Line column.

So Jeb! is in. Now, at long last, it’s time for Donald$.

Ever since his 1987 visit to New Hampshire to savor an early “Draft Trump” movement, Donald Trump has circled American presidential campaigns like a comet whose orbit is tied to election cycles.

Having ceded the CEO-as-politician role to Ross Perot in 1992, and after limiting himself to hosting a fundraiser for Bob Dole in 1996, Trump has spent the past 16 years teasing us with the notion of a president who would scold world leaders to their faces, praise the power of unfettered free enterprise with nary a reference to his own brushes with bankruptcy, and sell naming rights to the White House. (To himself, naturally.)

Don’t hold it against Trump that he’s flirted with running for president in every election since 2000. It can take a while for the right man and the right moment to find each other. 

Donald Trump waits to take a photograph with a supporter during the Republican Party of Iowa's Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines on May 16, 2015.

Donald Trump waits to take a photograph with a supporter during the Republican Party of Iowa's Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines on May 16, 2015.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

And what a moment this is for a President Trump—to face down Vladimir Putin, to heal racially divided cities and to stop this nonsense about the need for hard decisions on federal spending. 

“I could straighten out this country,” Trump told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News in March. “I could make it great again. I could make this country so prosperous you wouldn’t have to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid.”

Van Susteren didn’t ask how he’d do that. She didn’t need to. This is Trump. He’s got people. It’ll get done. 

On Iraq, perhaps only Trump had the foresight to recognize the folly in expecting that U.S. troops would ever leave.

“I would take the oil,” he told the Wall Street Journal’s Kelly Evans in 2011.

So, keep troops there?

“You heard me, I would take the oil.”

Then there’s the hullabaloo about global warming. With his outside-the-Beltway perspective, Trump recognized that it still got wintry this winter.

“Record low temperatures and massive amounts of snow,” he tweeted in February. “Where the hell is GLOBAL WARMING?”

With Trump in the White House, and James Inhofe running point in the Senate, this whole climate change thing will be wrapped up and filed away within days.

Which will leave time for Trump to explain to Janet Yellen how the Fed has been acting on woefully uninformed information.

“Our real employment rate, you know that’s not 5.6 percent,” Trump told New Hampshire Republicans in April. “It’s really probably 19 percent to 21 percent.” 

This comes straight from Trump’s gut.

“When I’m building buildings—and I’m building many of them—every time I go to a job and people know I’m there, I have hundreds of people at the street, they want to see me, they want to come in and be part of it,” he said. “They want to know, can they get a job? That’s not 5 percent and 5.6 percent. The real number is astronomical.”

Trump, making his case that America is failing, likes to say that other nations—China, Mexico, Russia—“laugh at us.” With him in the race, will the laughter stop?

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