Opinion: The industrial Midwest thrives under Trump
The immense job growth we've enjoyed since President Trump took office has enabled nearly six million Americans to trade in their food stamps for lunch pails, and few places have experienced this restoration of financial independence more dramatically than the Midwest.
During the 2016 election campaign, Donald Trump visited the industrial Midwest frequently to reassure millions of workers who had been long forgotten by the political establishment that his administration would fight for their success. He promised that his common-sense economic policies — particularly massive middle-class tax cuts, the elimination of harmful, job-killing regulations, and fair, new trade deals that put American workers first — would shake the U.S. economy out of its Obama-era doldrums and make American families more prosperous than ever before.
What candidate Trump promised on the campaign trail, President Trump has delivered from the Oval Office. This is more evident than ever in the shrinking number of people who are relying on government assistance, thanks to rising employment and pay raises.
According to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 5.8 million Americans have gotten off food stamps since February 2017, including hundreds of thousands of people in Midwestern states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota.
In those seven states alone, more than 400,000 people stopped relying on the food stamp program between March 2018 and March 2019 — a remarkable testament to the positive impact of President Trump’s economic policies. In those states, people are truly moving from welfare to work.
Over the course of those 12 months, participation in the food stamp program decreased by an impressive 8.2 percent in Michigan, 6.4 percent in Wisconsin, and 6.2 percent in Illinois. Even Ohio posted a respectable 3-percent decrease, but just across the river in Kentucky, food stamp participation declined by an incredible 14.2 percent.
The ongoing economic renaissance of the industrial Midwest extends far beyond food stamps, though. The plummeting dependence on the social safety net is merely one manifestation of the historic prosperity that our country has enjoyed since President Trump took office.
For the last two and a half years, every economy in the region has added tens of thousands of new jobs, creating unprecedented opportunities for workers who struggled under the anemic Obama presidency.
The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania, for instance, is currently holding steady at 3.8 percent — the lowest rate ever recorded in state history. Wisconsin recently achieved the same distinction after its unemployment rate fell to just 2.8 percent in May.
Nationwide, the U.S. economy has added nearly six million jobs since President Trump took office, coinciding closely with the number of Americans who have gotten off food stamps since February 2017. Virtually every one of those jobs represents another American family that’s finally been given the opportunity to get back on its feet.
Katrina Pierson is a senior adviser for Donald J. Trump for President Inc.