News & Politics

Paul Krugman: Trump May Be Less Popular with His Supporters Than He Looks

Polling data can be deceiving. No one wants to admit that they've been had.

Photo Credit: swisseconomic/Flickr Creative Commons

Economist Paul Krugman revealed in his New York Times column Monday that the only people that are confident about the economy are Republicans. Even those who are confident are still not acting on it to spur economic growth.

Citing a series of interviews with corporate owners and CEOs, Krugman wondered if their economic experience was more about their feelings than actual business decisions.

“Were those reporting a huge increase in optimism really feeling that much better about their economic prospects, or were they simply using the survey as an opportunity to affirm the rightness of their vote?” Krugman asked. “If consumers really are feeling super-confident, they’re not acting on those feelings.”

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The first quarter of GDP growth has revealed that President Barack Obama’s longest streak of private-sector job growth on record is beginning to slow. During the 2016 campaign, President Donald Trump criticized the Obama GDP growth as anemic because it failed to reach more than 3 percent. However, now that Trump has taken over, growth seems to be slowing.

Krugman wonders if all of the focus groups the media has done over the last week to mark Trump’s 100 days captured the truth behind those unwilling to admit that they were wrong about Trump. Bloomberg surveyed economists who predicted Ben Bernanke’s policies would cause runaway inflation.

No one was willing to admit after low inflation that they were mistaken. That was economists — imagine the average Trump voter. Krugman argues that Trump supporters will never admit they were wrong and since he hasn’t yet had an impact on their daily life, they’re probably going to be unwilling to for a while. But at some point, there will be a tipping point.

He compared Trump to the popularity of George W. Bush and his strong poll numbers that eventually sank during the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Trump will have a “Katrina moment,” Krugman predicted. It might be the collapse of the health insurance market, a recession or natural disaster, but it will happen and it will serve as his downfall.

 

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Sarah K. Burris writes about politics and technology for Raw Story.