Here’s President Trump three weeks ago with Sean Hannity:
“One thing that I am very proud of, the state of West Virginia. Last month, it was one of the highest percentage increases in GDP, the state of Texas beat it. And people are saying, wait a minute, West Virginia just came in second. Do you know what that is about? That is about cutting regulations and letting the people go and mine.”
And here he is two weeks ago on Fox News Radio:
“And I’ve turned West Virginia around, because of what I’ve done environmentally with coal. And I don’t know if you saw, but West Virginia is second to Texas in percentage increase of GDP.”
Does Trump deserve credit for the recent improvement in West Virginia's economy? This morning, the Washington Post published a very detailed analysis to answer that question. I recommend that you read their analysis but here is their conclusion:
Trump takes credit for West Virginia’s economic gains, but it’s undeserved. For one, when the first quarter ended on March 31, 2017, Trump was just two months into his presidency. While he was quick to do away with several regulations on energy production, many of the new policies have yet to take effect. The state’s recent growth is due to increased mining production and a rise in prices for coal and natural gas.
Taking credit for economic advances where no credit is due seems to be a habit for Trump. He should be more careful not to overstate the effect of his administration’s policies when praising economic gains across the country. For trying to capitalize on the hard work of West Virginians, Trump earns Four Pinocchios.
(Note – Four Pinocchios is the maximum.)
Additionally . . . .
WV Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns would probably disagree with President Trump. Five weeks ago in a Sunday News-Register op-ed piece, Ferns gave credit for the state's recovery to the legislation passed by the Republican legislature (right-to-work and legal reforms). (See here for my reaction.) Ferns would probably be disappointed to see that the Post’s analysis of WV’s recovery wouldn’t support his assertions either. (Note – there is still no link available to Fern’s op-ed piece.)