"Shields and Brooks on Trump's GOP pushback, Russia probe grand jury" PBS NewsHour 8/4/2017
SUMMARY: Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week's news, including strong new economic numbers, White House chief-of-staff John Kelly's first week, congressional Republicans starting to push back on the President, special counsel Robert Mueller convening a new grand jury for the Russia probe and more.
JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour): Today marks the close of week one on the job for President Trump's new Chief of Staff, a week that kicked off with the firing of a outspoken Communications Director, and ends with word of a new grand jury in the Russia investigation.
It's a perfect time for the analysis of Shields and Brooks. That's syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Timescolumnist David Brooks.
Welcome to you both.
MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated Columnist: Thank you, Judy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Mark, some good numbers on the economy out today, jobs numbers impressive. President Trump is saying it's all due to him.
Does he deserve this much credit?
MARK SHIELDS: Of course he does — but because we learned from candidate Trump that these numbers are totally bogus, that we live in this big ugly bubble, that unemployment is actually 42 percent at the time of President Obama.
No, Judy, I mean, the economic news is phenomenal. It isn't just good, setting new records in the stock market to 22000. You have got the lowest unemployment rate in 16 years. You have got economic confidence.
Today, Mazda and Toyota announced they're building a $1.3 billion plant in the United States, Amazon 50,000 jobs hiring. And if Donald Trump would get out of the way, if he was silent Cal Coolidge and just let the good news take over, they would say, wow, isn't that something?
But motormouth Don just has to keep changing the subject, intruding, and making unhelpful news himself. So — but, at the same time, I mean, does the President — does a President get credit? David has a very strongly, well-developed thesis that Presidents really don't shape the economy, and except over longer periods than their administrations.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Is that right?
DAVID BROOKS: I agree with Mark's version of …
DAVID BROOKS: Yes.
No, I do think that. They can have a very negative effect if they do something terrible, and maybe over the long run, the investments they make in one decade can lead to the gains next. But on a quarter-by-quarter basis, let alone month to month, no, no effect at all.
What puzzles me is, as Mark said, the economy is doing great. This is such a long recovery. And timing wise, we should be like dipping down again, and yet the public spirit is so bad. People have some faith in the economy. They do not think the country is headed in the right direction. You're not getting any spillover in the rest oft way people view the country, the way they view politics.
And I do think the cynicism has just gotten self-perpetuating. And so, no matter what happens in the country, people still somehow are cynical and distrustful about the country.
And so my message to America is cheer up a little.