“I don’t think we’re having a recession,” Trump told reporters on Sunday in an attempt to quell fears over a potential market crash. “We’re doing tremendously well. Our consumers are rich. I gave a tremendous tax cut and they’re loaded up with money.”
“I don’t see a recession,” he continued. “I mean, the world is in a recession right now. Although, that’s too big a statement.”
Toss in some paranoia:
Trump accused the media of deliberately precipitating an economic apocalypse in order to run him out of office. “The Fake News Media is doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election,” he wrote on Twitter. “The problem they have is that the economy is way too strong and we will soon be winning big on Trade, and everyone knows that, including China!”
The paranoia doesn’t end there. The New York Times reported on Sunday that in addition to his public grievances about the economy — which have also been directed at Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, whom Trump has accused of hamstringing growth by not cutting rates by enough — the president has been griping privately to aides and allies that everyone is out to get him and that all of this talk of an economic downturn is part of a multi-pronged scheme perpetrated by enemies who he believes are more concerned with sticking it to him than they are with the welfare of the United States. Very sane. Very normal.
I think there’s some dim understanding that somebody needs to do something. There’s a story out this evening that the Administration is considering a temporary payroll tax cut, among other things.
Weaponized paranoia always has been at the heart of El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago‘s political identity. In the tangles of his mind, he is always standing strong and alone against a vast array of enemies, including the minions of The Deep State and certain Guatemalan toddlers. If he feels like his presidency* is in serious peril, he’s liable to go off the deep end. He’s already setting up the members of the cult to refuse to accept the result of any election he doesn’t win. (He’s recently gone off again about those busloads of Massachusetts voters who drove to New Hampshire to deprive him of his win there in 2016.) If a recession hits, he’s already blamed his own Fed chair and the evil media. Who would be left?
“Our Economy is very strong, despite the horrendous lack of vision by Jay Powell and the Fed, but the Democrats are trying to ‘will’ the Economy to be bad for purposes of the 2020 Election,” Trump tweeted. “Very Selfish! Our dollar is so strong that it is sadly hurting other parts of the world.”
Yes, evil Democrats with their mighty mind-beams are willing the economy to slow.
A slowing economy wouldn’t necessarily be terrifying, except that the people in charge of the economy are the likes of Trump and Larry Kudlow, who have no clue what they are doing. So there’s little hope we’re going to escape some consequences. See also Paul Waldman, Trump’s Scam Is Failing Him, and He’s in a Panic Over It.
But while we’re speaking of mental instability– we are hearing more about Trump’s very serious idea about buying Greenland.
Trump made it clear on the tarmac as he prepared to board Air Force One, bound for the G7 summit in France, that he thought Greenland had a price, in the same way that everything and everybody has a price, and Denmark could be a willing seller.
He said: “We protect Denmark like we do large portions of the world. So the concept came up and I said, certainly. Strategically it’s interesting. It’s essentially a large real estate deal.”
The art of the deal is to spot your adversary’s weakness. Trump said Greenland was costing Denmark about $700m (£575m) a year in subsidies. While he pointed out this drain on the public finances, it was clear he saw it as a bargaining chip that could be used to persuade Danish taxpayers.
The Financial Times, in a mock assessment of Trump’s bid, put a price of $1.1tn on the combined value of Greenland’s mineral and defence assets.
Yeah, there’s a G7 summit coming up, in the French seaside town of Biarritz. This should be fun.