Donald Trump Cites ‘Serious Economic Conditions’ For Federal Pay Cutback Then Tweets ‘BEST ECONOMY IN HISTORY’

Trump's proposal to scale back a scheduled pay raise for federal employees appears to expose that the U.S. economy is not as healthy as he often claims.

Donald Trump speaks.
Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Trump's proposal to scale back a scheduled pay raise for federal employees appears to expose that the U.S. economy is not as healthy as he often claims.

In his State of the Union address last week, Donald Trump boasted that under his leadership, the United States economy was now “moving forward at a pace that was unimaginable” under the previous administration. But on Monday, Trump issued a budget proposal that severely rolled back a scheduled pay raise for federal employees, blaming “serious economic conditions,” according to a CNN report.

The estimated 2.1 million employees in the federal workforce were set to receive an across-the-board pay increase of 2.5 percent starting in January of 2021. But Trump’s new budget proposal rolls that raise back to just one percent, due to “serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare,” according to the budget proposal quoted by CNN.

And yet, just one day later, Trump took to his Twitter account to post the one-line, all capitalized message, “BEST USA ECONOMY IN HISTORY,” as quoted by Slate.com.

In December, Trump on his Twitter account bragged that while other countries are “not doing well economically,” the U.S. is “doing better, perhaps, than it has ever done before.”

But Trump’s stated reason for the federal employee pay raise rollback appears to contradict his highly-optimistic assessments of the country’s economic state, as he regularly posts on Twitter, and reiterated in his State of the Union speech.

Federal workers protest.
Federal workers were locked out of their jobs in January of 2019. Scott Olson / Getty Images

Trump has also frequently cited stock market growth as an indicator of what he says is a booming U.S. economy. But data shows that growth in the stock market has slowed under Trump compared to its performance during the administration of his predecessor, Barack Obama.

Stock market growth under Trump has also been slower than under the previous Democratic president before Obama, Bill Clinton.

In addition to the across-the-board pay raise, federal employees in 2021 were set to receive “locality pay increases,” according to CNN. In other words, the workers’ paychecks would be adjusted to correspond to the cost of living in the specific regions where they reside. Employees who live in areas where the cost of living is high, such as New York City, or the California Bay Area, are typically paid at a higher rate than those residing in less costly regions.

But Trump has also called for those regional pay increases to be eliminated, forcing paychecks to “remain at their 2020 levels” in terms of “locality” adjustments, according to the CNN report.

In the budget proposal, Trump called any raise for federal employees greater than just one percent “inappropriate,” and said that the rollback was intended to put the country on “a fiscally sustainable course.”

According to records kept by the Trump Twitter Archive, however, since June 4, 2018, Trump has claimed to be presiding over the “greatest economy” in U.S. history 15 times on his Twitter account alone.