Mick Mulvaney admits the US could be in a ‘moderate and short’ recession in 2020

Mick Mulvaney admits the US could be in a ‘moderate and short’ recession in 2020
Official White House Photo by Evan Walker

What President Donald Trump’s supporters say publicly and what they say behind closed doors can be two very different things, and that holds true when it comes to the state of the U.S. economy. Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, on Monday, insisted to reporters, “The fact is, the fundamentals of our economy are very strong.” And Trump on Wednesday told reporters the media is trying to create a recession in the United States. But, Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, speaking at a GOP fundraising luncheon in Jackson Hole, Wyoming this week, acknowledged to a group of donors that there is a possibility the U.S. will be in a recession in 2020.


The luncheon was hosted by two White House senior advisers: the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner. And Mulvaney, according to Politico, told a crowd of roughly Republican 50 donors that if a recession occurred, it would be “moderate and short.”

White House officials, Politico reports, have been weighing possible measures that could be taken if the U.S. does go into a recession in coming months — and those measures include reducing the corporate tax rate by another 1% or 2%, a payroll tax cut, another interest rate reduction by the Federal Reserve and indexing the capital gains rate to inflation (which could allow some capital gains to avoid taxation).

On Tuesday afternoon, President Trump told reporters, “We have been talking about indexing for a long time. I can do it directly.”

Tax cuts, however, would have to go through both houses of Congress. And while the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives might be open to cutting payroll taxes — which is something that President Barack Obama favored — they are unlikely to agree to additional corporate tax cuts. Many House Democrats have been vehemently critical of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which reduced the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.

A White House adviser, quoted anonymously, told Politico, “People do not vote on numbers — they vote on whether they feel good, and the president understands that. He is selling the feeling. It is like any other sales pitch: he is constantly trying to play off people’s feelings and emotions on the economy.”

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