With Donald Trump in the White House just short of a year, we feel compelled to point out that fact-checking has never been more relevant.
When it comes to the art of saying so — often — making it so, President Trump is proving himself to be without equal. This president is taking credit for just about everything that’s happening in America.
But a lot of folks aren’t buying it. For example, Trump boasted last weekend that he, and he alone is responsible for bringing back the “Merry Christmas” greeting, as opposed to the more politically-correct “Happy Holidays.”
In fact, we would venture to guess that the vast majority of Americans have been using the “Merry Christmas” greeting throughout the recent push toward political correctness. After all, this is America — and was America long before Trump trumped the political pollsters — and folks can say pretty much what they please. It’s called freedom of speech, and among the guarantees in the U.S. Constitution that this president apparently has not read.
But we wander from the focus of this editorial, which is to laud the efforts of the personal-finance website WalletHub, whose research team has become one of the best in the nation, and among our favorites.
WalletHub recently sent along its predictions for 2018 in the world of finance. The site has been extremely accurate with its predictions for the approaching new year, grading out with a solid “A” over the last six years. Here are WalletHub’s guesses for next year:
The gross domestic product will hold steady at about 2.5 percent — not what Republican lawmakers are hoping for, but a continuation of a steady climb out of the Great Recession morass.
The jobless rate will fall below 4 percent, which would be the strongest performance in the work force for nearly two decades.
U.S. auto and home sales will continue to zing along, the caveat being what the GOP’s new tax-reform plan does to specific housing markets, including California’s.
The only questionable spots will involve debt and credit. WalletHub believes the Federal Reserve will raise rates at least three times in 2018, and if that turns out to be the case, will cost consumers billions of dollars in interest charges. Meanwhile, personal credit card debt will soar past $1 trillion, another red flag for the U.S. economy.
These aren’t facts, yet, but they are pretty fair guesses about what will happen in the world of finance, and good information upon which individuals and families can make personal financial decisions.
And make some New Year’s resolutions. Here are some of WalletHub’s recommendations:
Monitor your credit, regularly. Pay bills as soon as you get paid. Chip in a month’s pay to your rainy-day fund. Make a realistic budget and stick to it.
We would add another resolution — guard your personal identity and your bank accounts. The cyber-criminal sharks are circling.
Good ideas, and experts reckon about half of Americans make such resolutions. However, those same experts say about 95 percent of resolutions fall by the wayside before the end of January.
The coming year is one of great expectations, and not all of it positive. The nation’s economy is humming along, and investors are doing extremely well in the financial markets. If the GOP’s tax-reform strategy works, there should be more jobs available.
The problem is, no one seems to know what happens if the new tax plan stumbles. Even with the unknowns, it seems evident the wealthiest Americans will be pleased — but what about the other 99 percent?