Trump's "bad thoughts" economic theory

Trump's "bad thoughts" economic theory

by digby

Ignorant as usual, the president is now espousing a conspiracy theory that Democrats and the media are creating a recession to hurt his re-election chances:

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. 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2019

The Daily Beast reported:

According to three people who’ve spoken to Trump about recessions and the American economy since 2017, the president has repeatedly voiced concerns—or bitter annoyance—about what he views as media outlets’ ability, or even alleged desire, to help create economic recession through self-fulfilling prophecy.

One of these sources said they’ve heard Trump say at least three times over the past two and a half years that the media would “love it if” a recession occurred during his first term, seriously harming his chances at re-election in 2020. Since his inauguration, the president has brought up the subject of possible recession, sometimes as an unprompted tangent, in various policy and messaging discussions, including on health care, taxes, and trade.

“[Trump] thinks recessions or booms are often self-fulfilling prophecies,” another one of the sources said. “He’s said when the media starts beating the drum about a recession coming, that negativity gets into people’s heads and they change their behavior: less purchasing, fewer entrepreneurs starting small businesses, people moving money out of the market, [and so on]. That’s why he’s so concerned about the coverage of a potential recession… He believes he can will the economy in a positive direction by feeding optimism to the ‘American spirit.’”

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on this story. But by Thursday, it was clear that prominent media defenders of Trump’s, several of whom moonlight as top informal advisers to the president, had begun to coalesce around the narrative that much of the mainstream media craved a recession to oust Trump.

During the broadcast of his eponymous show on Wednesday, conservative talk radio giant and Trump ally Rush Limbaugh claimed that fears of an upcoming recession were largely the creation of a Trump-loathing media in order to help the Democratic Party in the upcoming election.
Here's someone who actually knows what he's talking about:
Since "voodoo economics" is taken, I suggest we call this "hoodoo economics". The thing is, while I haven't seen anyone besides Trump assert that the economy is being ruined by negative thinking, I've been seeing a lot of warnings that liberals shouldn't wish for recession 2/
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) August 20, 2019

And here's the thing: while Democrats aren't doing that, Republicans did do it; they engaged in systematic economic sabotage during the Obama years 4/
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) August 20, 2019

Trump officials are also floating the idea of a payroll tax cut to provide demand-side stimulus — exactly what Obama tried to do, but found himself faced with scorched-earth opposition 6/
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) August 20, 2019

On the other hand, I did say Trump would eventually blame the recession on Ilhan Omar, didn't I? Happening even faster than I expected 8/
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) August 20, 2019

Update: John Amato made a compilation of Larry Kudlow's insistence on the "optimism fairy"

Trump's economic advisor went on multiple Sunday talk shows two days ago and deflected the fears of a recession by evoking a fairytale instead of actual hard evidence.

I've often written about the imaginary "confidence fairy" Republicans pretend will save us all after their constrictive and destructive policies strangle the U.S. economy.

And now Larry Kudlow has created a new one and no, it's not a unicorn.

Kudlow said, "Let's not be afraid of optimism. Let's not be afraid of optimism," he constantly repeated to NBC's Chuck Todd on Meet The Press.