Democrats and their allies in the left-leaning press are flabbergasted over former President Donald Trump’s campaign trail remarks. When are they not? He recently told the conservative platform Lindell TV that the US economy will experience a crash. If it does, Trump hopes it happens within the next year rather than when he assumes office should he win in November. “I just don’t want to be Herbert Hoover,” the real estate billionaire stated. Of course, apoplectic leftists are completely misconstruing what he said. But does anyone remember how Democrat politicians and media figures reacted to the Trump economy before the coronavirus pandemic?
Democrats Talk Down Trump Economy
In 2019, comedian Bill Maher claimed that he “really” wanted a recession, arguing that the United States has “survived” many downturns but would not “survive” another Trump term. “And by the way, I’m hoping for it because one way you get rid of Trump is a crashing economy,” he stated.
Maher essentially said what many Democrats were thinking about Trumponomics, even if it meant non-affluent citizens would suffer the consequences of their political aims. But while the progressive leaders stopped short of telling the world that they desired a downturn, their comments certainly reeked of desperation and denial of reality.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), then-House minority leader, told reporters that consumer confidence was waning, although the numbers suggested the opposite. The former House Speaker said during her weekly press conference in June 2018:
“Well, as I said, unemployment rate is one indication. The fact is, and this has happened before, that people say, ‘Oh my goodness, that people are saying the unemployment rate is down, why isn’t my purchasing power increasing?’ So, this isn’t just about the unemployment rate, it’s about wages rising in our country, so that consumer confidence is restored.”
“Our economy will never fully reach its possibilities unless we increase the consumer confidence,” she added.
First, the White House keeps claiming that low joblessness is a sign of a strong economy while simultaneously ignoring how real (inflation-adjusted) wage growth has slumped roughly 3% since 2021. Second, the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index was at an 18-year high at the time of her remarks, and the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index was at a record high. Third, the annual inflation rate ranged between 0.2% and 2.9% during Trump’s presidency, and real median weekly earnings rose 13%. By comparison, the consumer price index reached a 40-year high, and median weekly earnings have slumped 2% under Biden.
Of course, this was the same individual who claimed that Corporate America’s wage increases, bonuses, and benefit increases, resulting from the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, were “crumbs.”
Keynesian darling economist Paul Krugman wrote one of his many anti-Trump columns for The New York Times in October 2019, titled “Here Comes the Trump Slump.” Years earlier, Krugman proclaimed that the stock market would crash and never recover and that the global economy would plunge into a recession because Orange Man Bad.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) routinely railed against growing poverty and income inequality under Trump, howling at the moon that the president was enriching the 1%. Interestingly enough, the poverty rate crashed to a two-decade low under the former president (it quickly shot up during Biden’s first two years in office). Additionally, the share of corporate equities and mutual funds held by the wealthiest Americans was flat throughout the Trump economy and skyrocketed to an all-time high in the world of Bidenomics.
When he was a 2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden warned that Trump’s trade practices would raise prices and trigger a recession. “I hope it’s not true, but we’re likely to inherit a recession, at least a significant economic slowdown,” Biden told CNBC in December 2019. But import prices from China surprisingly tumbled 13% from January 2017 to December 2019, and, in the final full quarter of Trump’s presidency (fourth quarter of 2020), the economy expanded by 4.2%.
Anyone who lived through the Trump years experienced the media’s obsession and the Democrats’ desperation to take him down. At the same time, anchors, pundits, and reporters will go to great lengths to protect President Biden, even redefining what a recession (back-to-back quarters of negative GDP growth) is to deceive voters. Give credit to former CNN personality John Harwood, who took the time to redefine the word in the Trump economy by claiming that a recession is when there is one quarter of massive contraction!
So far, the 2024 presidential election cycle has been short on policy discussions. Instead, it has been one giant circus as millions of Americans brace for a rematch between Biden and Trump. A couple of pieces have analyzed Trump’s economic proposals, particularly their inflationary impact. He has suggested imposing across-the-board tariffs on China and closing the border to stop the flood of illegal immigrants. Critics argue that these would add to inflation pressures because import levies contribute to higher prices and halting illegals from working for peanuts would exacerbate labor costs.
However, Biden’s trade policies aren’t all that different from his predecessor’s, and the current administration has even doubled down on protectionist efforts. Additionally, is the punditry class advocating lawbreaking to enjoy cheap labor? Maybe not exactly headline observations.
Watch Trump, Not the Press
If the public wants to learn what Trump said, watching the clips or reading the full transcripts is superior to perusing the mainstream media’s take. Like the ex-president’s bit about being a dictator on “day one” or his Kim Jong-un joke that “we fell in love,” the press blows everything out of proportion, and the White House then uses the Fourth Estate’s mendacious analyses to peddle false information to the American people. The recent Trump comments on the economy are another example of this. Did Trump hope for the US economy to crash? No. Does Trump expect the economy will crash and hope it happens before taking office in January 2025? Yes.