January 20, 2019

Don't Count on that Trump Recession

“A tumbling stock market is not a recession. A slowing economy is not a recession. And a recession is not a depression. These are all things Democrats and NeverEverTrumpers everywhere should keep in mind as they envision a nasty economic downturn driving President Trump from the White House.

Sure, a headline like “Stock market on pace for worst December since Great Depression” provides a wonderful opportunity for a bit of cathartic dunking on Trump. It was only last October when the president was still touting a higher Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 as proof Trumponomics was working beautifully. On Oct. 3, Trump tweeted: “The Stock Market just reached an All-Time High during my Administration for the 102nd Time, a presidential record, by far, for less than two years. So much potential as Trade and Military Deals are completed.” Since then, the Dow has been down as much as 12 percent.

Of course Trump has a self-serving explanation for the decline. Several, actually. Just a refreshing “pause” after a big run. But maybe it’s also pro-Trump investors repulsed by “presidential harassment” from Democrats who hate all the winning. And for sure, Trump argues, the Federal Reserve is badly screwing things up with its “crazy” interest rate hikes. Indeed, on Twitter, Trump has twice attacked the Jerome Powell-led Fed leading up to its December policy meeting, which is likely to result in an announcement today of another rate hike. Or, as Trump calls it, “yet another mistake.””

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