The current Republican line holds that the economy is in fine shape
but that the liberal news media is running slanted or false stories predicting a recession in a deliberate plot to induce one. “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,” scolds President Trump, “Very Selfish!” The conservative intelligentsia is supporting Trump’s paranoid diagnosis. Manhattan Institute senior fellow James Piereson argues that recession fears are inflated and asserts, “Current forecasts for a recession among pundits are not based on facts or real conditions but on a belief in self-fulfilling prophecies — that by predicting a recession they can create one, and thus set the stage for Democratic victory in 2020.”
The professions of confidence by Trump and his supporters that no recession is at hand is belied by their own behavior — especially Trump’s frantic attempts to pressure the Federal Reserve into loosening its monetary policy, along with the president’s renewed interest in cutting payroll taxes as stimulus. It’s also belied by a fair amount of data. Even the forecasts Piereson cites to support his confident prediction of no recession warn that a recession may well happen. (“The recent escalation of the US-China trade dispute and other geopolitical uncertainties increase the risk of a sharper slowdown than the base scenario.”)
supported fiscal stimulus in 2008, when the first signs of recession appeared. It was only during the Obama administration that Republicans reversed themselves and became fanatical advocates of fiscal and monetary tightening.
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