Is Donald Trump’s paranoia exacerbating the threat of a looming recession?
Faced with economic indicators that forecast a downturn in the long-rising American financial uptick, Trump is ping-ponging between panic and denial.
His conspiracy-minded thinking has him suspecting that the ample predictions of a dim future for the nation’s economy — a future primarily due to his disastrous trade wars —are a coordinated effort by biased forecasters intent on derailing his reelection chances, according to The Washington Post.
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Naturally, the pessimistic forecasts contradict the rosy picture that Trump likes to paint at his political rallies where he lays claim to the well-functioning economy — that was actually a legacy that he inherited from the Obama administration — as a product of his own “stable genius.”
Yet behind Trump’s outward bluster, The Post reports that he is privately panicking and reaching out to business executives to get their input and personal evaluations of the current financial trends.
“Privately, however, the president has sounded anxious and apprehensive. From his golf club in New Jersey, where he is vacationing this week, Trump has called a number of business leaders and financial executives to sound them out — and they have provided him a decidedly mixed analysis, according to two people familiar with the discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the conversations were confidential,” The Washington Post reports.
“Trump has a somewhat conspiratorial view, telling some confidants that he distrusts statistics he sees reported in the news media and that he suspects many economists and other forecasters are presenting biased data to thwart his reelection, according to one Republican close to the administration who was briefed on some of the conversations,” the story continues.
“’He’s rattled,’ this Republican said. ‘He thinks that all the people that do this economic forecasting are a bunch of establishment weenies — elites who don’t know anything about the real economy and they’re against Trump.’”
As Trump ignores reality and experts in favor of his favored fantasies and his treasured “gut,” his conspiratorial nature prevents him from realizing that his own foolish trade and tariff policies are what brought us to this point.
Even worse, Trump’s denial that a recession is inevitable means that his administration has done nothing to prepare for the eventual economic reversal that has been a recurrent event during Republican administrations.
“Administration officials are not actively planning for a recession because they do not believe one will occur, and they worry that making such plans would validate a negative narrative about the economy and precipitate a crash, according to people involved in internal discussions,” acording to The Post.
Timing is everything — both in investing and in politics — so Trump is terrified that a recession will derail his reelection and leave him subject to the prosecution for the multiple crimes that he has avoided responsibility for due to the Justice Department’s controversial ruling that a sitting president cannot be indicted.
Yet, as he puts his head in the sand and ignores the clear writing on the wall from reputable financial analysts, the nation is left unprepared due to his fear and lack of any competent planning.
Trump’s failure to see the harm that his trade policies are causing not just in the U.S., but globally, likely means that he won’t do anything to admit his mistakes and reverse course anytime soon — leaving the American economy like the Titanic on a collision course with a major iceberg — a metaphor that will soon become anachronistic as the world’s glaciers melt away due to Trump’s equally horrendous environmental policies.
All the more reason that voters need to see the situation clearly and ensure that Trump is voted out or removed from office as soon as possible, while there is still time to salvage what’s left of the Obama recovery.
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Original reporting by Philip Rucker Damian Paletta, Josh Dawsey at The Washington Post.