“Where we’re going now might be a bad place,” Trump said at a rally in Arizona last week. “We have to put this act in order, we have to get this country to go, or we will have a serious problem.”
The former president identified the collapse of Americans’ real wages, a historically depressed labor force participation rate, and the democratic push for the Green New Deal that he said would crush economic growth.
“Not recession. Recession is a beautiful word. We will have a much bigger problem than the recession. We will have a depression, “the former president said.
Trump’s remarks came several days before the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released data showing U.S. real GDP declined by 0.9% annualized in the second quarter after a 1.6% contraction. in the first quarter.
Two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth is a common practical definition of a recession, although recessions in the United States are officially declared by a committee of economists of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) using a broader definition than the two-quarter rule .
Vance Ginn, chief economist at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, said in an interview with The Epoch Times’ media twin, NTD, that while officially NBER is calling recessions, the two-quarter rule is “usually the way it’s done. according to a rule of thumb. ”
“I think this is definitely the recession we are in now because of these bad policies,” Ginn added, blaming a number of “progressive policies” emanating from the White House and the Democrat-controlled House.
Stagflationary winds blowing
In his remarks, Trump also targeted President Joe Biden’s handling of the economy, blaming him for rising inflation.
“Biden created the worst inflation in 47 years. We are at 9.1%, but the actual number is much, much higher than that, “Trump said.
Although the former president did not provide his own estimate for the real inflation rate, an alternative CPI inflation indicator developed by economist John Williams, calculated according to the same methodology used by the U.S. government in the 1980s, puts the figure at 17.3 per cent, a maximum of 75 years.
Trump also said persistently high inflation combined with an economic slowdown has put the country “on the brink of a devastating” period of stagflation, which is a combination of accelerating prices and slowing economic growth.
Inflation “is going higher and higher,” Trump said, adding that “it costs households nearly $ 6,000 a year, greater than any tax hike ever proposed beyond the tax hike they want to propose right now. “.
In Trump’s first full month in office in February 2017, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) main inflation index stood at 2.8% in annual terms. While the CPI measure fluctuated during his tenure, the highest ever reached was 2.9% in July 2018, while in his last month in office, January 2021, inflation hit 1.4%.
Under Biden, inflation has steadily increased, climbing 9.1% yoy in June 2022, a figure not seen in more than 40 years.
“War on American Energy”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, rising energy prices have been one of the key factors contributing to inflation, accounting for about half of the main inflation figure.
In his critique of Biden’s policies, Trump identified what he called “Biden’s war on American energy” and accused it of driving up gas prices.
Since taking office, Biden has taken a number of enforcement actions targeting the oil industry, including revoking the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, terminating new oil and gas drilling leases on land. and federal waters and the end of fossil fuel subsidies by some agencies.
The price of gasoline is roughly double what Biden took office, with the president blaming various factors, including a lack of refining capacity, the war in Ukraine, and corporate greed.
In an effort to lower prices at the pump, Biden ordered the release of oil reserves from the national strategic reserve, called on US refineries to increase production, and prompted OPEC to pump more crude.
In his speech, Trump said this amounted to “begging” other countries to pump more oil instead of trying to increase domestic production.
“We have more liquid gold under our feet than any other country in the world. We are a nation consumed by the Green New Deal of the radical left, yet everyone knows that the Green New Deal will lead to our destruction ”.
“Just two years ago, we were energy independent. We were even energy dominant. The United States is now an energy beggar. ”