Rubin posted her column just after the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve released a statement schooling Trump and his economic adviser Larry Kudlow about the impact Trump’s actions around the coronavirus has had on the economy.
“The coronavirus outbreak is causing tremendous human and economic hardship across the United States and around the world,” the statement said. “The ongoing public health crisis will weigh heavily on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term, and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term.”
Then Thursday morning the world learned that the United States GDP dropped by 9.5 percent, in a record worst for the country.
“The path of the economy is going to depend, to a very high extent, on the course of the virus and on the measures we take to keep it in check,” said Fed Chair Jerome Powell. “The two things are not in conflict. Social distancing measures and a fast reopening of the economy actually go together. They’re not in competition with each other.”
Rubin explained that Powell basically said Trump’s futile efforts to try and do one without the other won’t do anything.
At the same time, “recent labor market indicators point to a slowing in job growth, particularly among smaller businesses,” he said. For the third month in a row, on July 1, more than 30 percent of Americans couldn’t pay their rent or mortgage. The final unemployment supplement will be sent out this month, so there’s a concern that Aug. 1 numbers will be worse. While Americans continue to file for unemployment at over 1 million people weekly and mass evictions are looking more likely, Trump spent Wednesday evening meeting with oil executives in Texas and telling them everything was great.
“There is no mystery as to why Trump has lost his advantage over former vice president Joe Biden on the economy,” wrote Rubin, citing Trump’s net approval rating on the economy dropping from +16 points since January to +1 in July. Those numbers aren’t likely to stay positive for long.
“Biden actually does 2 points better than Trump when matched up on the economy in an average of the ABC News/Washington Post, Fox News and Quinnipiac polls,” cited CNN’s Harry Enten.
“Trump foolishly thought he could ignore the virus and goad governors and businesses to reopen the economy,” Rubin closed. “That was a deadly and costly failure that voters plainly recognize. It should be obvious by now: Trump’s reckless and willful disregard of the pandemic is what is responsible for the awful economic shape we are in.”