by WorldTribune Staff, October 1, 2020
A point made by President Donald Trump during Tuesday’s debate that may have gone unnoticed as he battled Democrat Joe Biden and moderator Chris Wallace was that “When the stock market goes up, that means jobs. It also means 401(k)s.”
Trump “mentioned his greatest gift to the American people,” Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, wrote for the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.
The president’s point “hits home among the millions of Americans with savings in a tax-advantaged investment vehicle, who watched their retirement funds rise in the pre-pandemic stock surge,” Norquist noted.
Biden did not respond to Trump’s comment.
But, during a town hall in Pennsylvania last month, the Democrat candidate insisted that the stock market is a concern only of the distant rich.
“All that Trump can see from Park Avenue is Wall Street,” Biden said. “All he thinks about is the stock market, and telling them, ‘We’re going to do all right, everybody owns stock.’ How many of you all own stock in Scranton? In my neighborhood in Scranton, not a whole hell of a lot of people own stock.”
Norquist noted that Biden’s comments might have held water — when he began his political career all those decades ago.
Today, however, Norquist noted that “100 million Americans save in 401(k)s … along with many others using individual retirement accounts, 403(b)s and 529 college savings plans. And this growing ‘investor class’ is increasingly aware. They receive frequent reports and can check their statements online anytime to see how their savings have grown, fallen or rebounded.”
“They watched the Trump presidency drive up the value of their life savings.”
Norquist added: ” ‘Wealth’ is a slur to the Left. Yet if you ask ordinary Americans not about their ‘wealth’ but about their savings in a 401(k) or IRA, many can tell you its value to the penny. Skeptics argue that the market’s performance matters only to investors with the biggest stakes, but that argument gets things backward.”