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Daily Archives: August 19th, 2019


 

James Downie 9 hrs ago

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.
The United States’ economic outlook is not exactly confidence-inspiring: Manufacturing is flagging, bond yields have turned ominous, and stocks are down (then up a little on Friday, but still very much down). So, faced with the Sunday talk shows, the Trump White House sent out National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow and trade adviser Peter Navarro. On Friday, my colleague Catherine Rampell described the pair, along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, as Trump’s “dream team” of economic mismanagement; on Sunday, they showed why.
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd asked Kudlow to assess Wall Street fears about the economy. “I don’t see a recession,” answered Kudlow. “And let me add just one theme, Chuck. … Let’s not be afraid of optimism.” He cited strong “consumer numbers,” low oil prices and low-interest rates and predicted “the economy’s going to be very good in 2019.”
That may sound good. But given that we’re well into 2019, Kudlow’s silence about 2020 is concerning. Furthermore, Kudlow’s confidence has some eerie echoes with the last downturn, as Todd pointed out:
But, you know, you actually said that in 2007 right before the second-worst downturn in American history. This is what you wrote. “There’s no recession coming.” This is in December of ’07. “The pessimistas were wrong. It’s not going to happen. The Bush boom is alive and well. It’s finishing up its sixth consecutive year with more to come.”
Here’s the problem: Kudlow and others failed to see a recession coming because they refused to believe housing and other markets could really collapse. Others learned from that mistake; it seems Kudlow hasn’t.
As for Navarro, he was asked on CBS’s “Face the Nation” to explain a presidential contradiction: If tariffs don’t really hurt U.S. consumers, as Trump likes to claim, then why did he delay tariffs until Dec. 15 out of concern for hurting consumers? “I was there in the Oval Office when a group of business people came in and made the following very persuasive argument,” Navarro replied. “They had already bought everything that was going to be on our shelves, but they’d done it in dollar contracts, which means they weren’t able to shift the burden back to the Chinese.”
Assuming that those business leaders are telling the truth, it’s good that the Trump administration would finally recognize reality. Then again, why didn’t someone at the White House make any effort to find this out beforehand? Why go through the whole charade of these tariffs if they weren’t even going to hit China in the first place?
Whether another recession is coming is an open question: Strong consumer spending and low unemployment may continue to keep things afloat. But all Navarro’s and Kudlow’s answers offered was more evidence that, if the economy does go south, this administration is acting without thinking. Kudlow is wrong: No one is “afraid of optimism.” We’re afraid of the team in the White House.

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The race is on for the Presidency ( soul) of the UNITED States. The current officeholder has been emboldened by the die-hard supporters at his rallies which have been nonstop since 2016.  The actual work of the office has been handled by his crew of miscreants whose sole objective is to interpret the ideas of a Conman who is not much more than a Carnival barker with an egomaniacal streak. The GOP has succumbed to the idea of staying in office at any cost while ignoring their own core policies of 10 plus years ago. This is not letting the Scamocrats off the hook as they have also moved in a direction that has not done that well for us either. It is time (and a half) past when we need to agree to disagree on where and what the government does in our names. Our sole objective needs to be electing more rational representatives who can look at the issues and make decisions that benefit ALL Americans without the skewing effects of big money and extreme groups of all sorts. Neither major political party currently has no real plans of action as a collective so cannot (or will not) legislate any worthwhile policies that move us forward instead of sideways and backward. It is well to remember that no matter who’s the President, it is Congress that makes and enacts legislation, approves cabinet members and Judges. If these choices are poor then the results are poor for us. Our lack of engagement is why we still have a core of neer do well legislators who do nothing or do even their nothingness wrong! We definitely need a better qualified or better-informed Resident in the Oval office but we need to start with Congress. Vote don’t mope!

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