Like earthquakes, wildfires, and floods, recessions are recurring problems. And as with those (other) ‘natural’ catastrophes, it’s easier to prepare for them in advance and survive them afterwards if we’re not dependent on grifters, political cultists, and soggy-brained showboaters…
Trump just now on the economy: “I don’t see a recession. I mean, the world is in a recession right now. Although, that’s too big a statement.”
— Felicia Sonmez (@feliciasonmez) August 18, 2019
Recapping this morning's messaging from the White House: The economy is doing great.
There definitely won't be a recession.
PANIC PANIC PANIC https://t.co/C27FthwBNp
— Binyamin Appelbaum (@BCAppelbaum) August 19, 2019
Echoing the infamous and politically-deadly McCain quote from 2008 https://t.co/pGLUEDO8pO
— Sam Stein (@samstein) August 19, 2019
Catherine Rampell, at the Washington Post — “Move over, Illuminati. The conspiracy against Trump’s economy is massive”:
… Trump, aided by his economic brain trust of cranks and sycophants, believes any indicator showing the U.S. economy could be in trouble must be fabricated. It’s all part of an anti-Trump conspiracy, he rants, according to reports in The Post, the Associated Press and the New York Times.
And move over, Illuminati, because this particular conspiracy is massive.
It’s led by the Federal Reserve, Democrats and the media, of course, or so say Trump and his Fox News minions. But it also includes the entire U.S. bond market, which flashed a warning sign last week when the Treasury yield curve inverted (meaning long-term bonds had lower interest rates than short-term ones, which usually predates a downturn).
Also colluding are the many farmers, retailers, manufacturers and economists who have been warning for more than a year that the burden of Trump’s tariffs is mainly borne by Americans, not China or other trading partners, and also that uncertainty over trade tensions can paralyze hiring, investment and purchasing decisions, which we need to keep the economy expanding…
The White House has reportedly declined to develop contingency plans for a downturn because it doesn’t want to validate this “negative narrative.” This is, in a word, idiotic. As others have analogized, it’s like refusing to buy a fire extinguisher because you’re afraid of feeding a “negative narrative” that you might someday face a fire.
Administration officials decided the best way to deal with recession risk, which they of course aren’t personally worried about, was through a show of force on TV. There, Trump’s economic advisers assured Americans they definitely, certainly, cross-their-hearts-and-hope-to-die don’t see reason to worry…
… Kudlow’s call for optimism has a whiff of Peter Pan logic about it: If only we believe in fairies hard enough, we can always save Tinker Bell — even when we’re sending her out into a hailstorm. If you believe, clap your hands; don’t let Tink die!
It’s hard to imagine nervous Americans are really this credulous. Then again, perhaps we were never the intended audience for such performances. Sure, maybe White House aides are trying to fool the public into believing recession warning signs don’t exist. But maybe they’re actually just trying to fool their boss.
A frightening conspiracy theory, indeed.
Asked about our report that Larry Kudlow is expected to leave his post in the comings months, Trump says, "I hope not. I love Larry Kudlow. I think he's done a fantastic job. He has been going through health problems, as you know…" https://t.co/6VJOaY57uG
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) August 19, 2019
Oh. Oh my. pic.twitter.com/sD3ZBjGITr
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) August 19, 2019