Reports that White House advisers are planning a payroll tax cut to put the brakes on the threat of recession aren’t true, officials insisted to The New York Times. They’re not doing any serious in-case-of-recession planning.
Two administration officials told the Times that a payroll tax cut wasn’t under real consideration, while “a third official said that discussions of what tools could be deployed to offset a recession, based on examining what had been done in previous slowdowns, were hypothetical and not being explored with urgency.” So while the warning signs of recession are growing, the Trump administration is treating the possibility as hypothetical and not really urgent. Good to know. And as The Washington Post’s Catherine Rampell recently pointed out, Trump's economic team is a disaster.
Then again, with Trump insisting that the economy is “very strong” and “Our consumers are rich. I gave a tremendous tax cut, and they’re loaded up with money,” how could his advisers make serious plans for combating a recession, even if they knew what they were doing? Trump already has his plan for a recession: He’s going to swing from denying it’s happening to blaming the media and Democrats and his Federal Reserve chair and everyone else in sight.