Throughout much of President Donald Trump’s time in office, he has touted economic strength as a supposed measure of his supposed success on the job. Now, heading into the general election this November, the U.S. economy has faltered big time under the weight of the lockdown measures imposed to stem the spread of the Coronavirus, which has already killed almost 100,000 Americans. During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union this Sunday morning, top Trump economic adviser Kevin Hassett acknowledged the economy’s dire state — and that the dire state, including unemployment in the double digits, may persist all the way up to the November election, thereby essentially cementing Trump’s legacy as that of chaos.
Just remember; the whole "reopen" movement was never about actual freedom. It was an astroturf operation to give states with Republican governors cover so they could cut people off of unemployment rolls and keep the GOP writ large from supporting government spending.
— Corey Richardson (@vexedinthecity) May 24, 2020
Asked if he thinks that the official unemployment rate could be in double digits in November, Hassett said:
‘Yes, I do, but I think that all the signs of economic recovery are going to be raging everywhere, and the only thing we’re really going to be debating as economists is are we going to get back to where we were, is it going to be kind of a long haul to get there… there are lots of reasons to believe that we can get going way faster than we have in previous crises.’
During the first two+ months of the pandemic:
Some Americans who lost poverty-wage jobs are receiving $600 a week in extra unemployment benefits. Republican response: How outrageous!
630 billionaires made $434 billion in profits. Republican response: Crickets.
Tax the rich.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) May 24, 2020
Hassett noted that the economic infrastructure of the United States has supposedly not been destroyed, but that is definitely not entirely true.
Amidst the financial strain of the almost nationwide orders to wind down in-person operations, large numbers of small businesses may never reopen at all. In the childcare industry alone, “industry groups predict that one-third to half of child-care centers may not reopen at all,” one recent report explained. As Axios adds, discussing small businesses, “Millions might not survive — and many of the tens of millions of jobs they support could evaporate,” and that would be devastating for the economy and the people in it.
Terrifying story by @amandabecker on the coming child-care collapse: "Industry groups predict that one-third to half of child-care centers may not reopen at all." https://t.co/xWKXkDtDxc pic.twitter.com/xKbjMPke4d
— jodikantor (@jodikantor) May 20, 2020
After the above, host Dana Bash followed up:
‘I just want to underscore what you’re saying is that as the president is on the ballot in November, you think there could be double-digit unemployment still.’
‘Yes, unemployment will be something that moves back slower. I think it could be better than that, but you’re going to be starting at a number in the 20s and working your way down. So of course, you could still not be back to full employment by September or October. If there were a vaccine in July, then I would be way more optimistic about it.’
Tens of millions of people have already filed unemployment claims in recent weeks, and in November, voters could make their presidential choices while many of these millions are still out of work. Watch below:
“You’re going to be starting at a number in the 20s and working your way down. So of course, you could still not be back to full employment by September or October.”
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) May 24, 2020
Trump has consistently appeared not to take the crisis seriously. Over the weekend, Trump went golfing at one of his properties in northern Virginia, although when Barack Obama was in office and there were just two Ebola virus cases in the U.S., Trump criticized the then-president for going golfing. The Ebola virus ended up spreading in an only very limited fashion in the U.S.
— Democratic Coalition (@TheDemCoalition) May 23, 2020