I vividly remember Donald Trump’s campaign kickoff speech at Trump Tower on June 16, 2015 — a day which will live in imbecility.
I recall that Trump seemed congenitally incapable of telling the truth, rode an escalator as part of what appeared to be some sort of shambolic, improptu comedy bit, and, of course, claimed Mexico was full of a smattering of “good people” and a presumably much larger smattering of vicious rapists and drug mules:
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
The speech was so fatuous, offensive, and dishonest, of course he beat all Republican comers on his way to more or less permanently befouling the White House. God looked down on me enjoying my IPA and Field Roast vegan sausages atop my sunlit backyard deck and thought, “Let’s fuck with that guy’s life for a while, shall we?”
Apart from Trump’s open racism, what most stood out to me was that he was a total joke who had no idea what he was talking about on any subject. And for some reason, this quote in particular grabbed my attention:
“Last quarter, it was just announced our gross domestic product — a sign of strength, right? But not for us. It was below zero. Whoever heard of this? It’s never below zero.
“Our labor participation rate was the worst since 1978. But think of it, GDP below zero, horrible labor participation rate.”
And then, of course, he ranted about the “real” unemployment rate — because those numbers he took as gospel before he crashed the economy were obviously (somehow) faked under Obama.
So you know where I’m going with this, right?
Economic output fell at its fastest pace on record last spring as the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses across the United States to close their doors and kept millions of Americans shut in their homes for weeks.
Gross domestic product — the broadest measure of goods and services produced — fell 9.5 percent in the second quarter of the year, the Commerce Department said Thursday. On an annualized basis, the standard way of reporting quarterly economic data, G.D.P. fell at a rate of 32.9 percent.
Negative 32.9 percent? Who ever heard of this? No, seriously. Who? No one. Because it’s never happened during the lifetime of anyone on the planet.
This was the worst quarter since at least 1875, according to a historical data set created by economists Nathan Balke and Robert Gordon. The runners up are the third quarter of 1893, when a legendary panic and run on the banks caused a crippling depression, and the fourth quarter of 1937, when the Great Depression returned with a vengeance. Those quarters saw declines of 8.4 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively.
And that “below-zero” GDP growth that Trump thought was such a disaster? Let’s all hop in our Wayback Machines, shall we?
Granted, Barack Obama didn’t confront a devastating pandemic, but then again, neither has Trump, which is why we’re currently knee deep in fermenting hog shit.
Back then I didn’t realize that Trump just says whatever pops into his head without bothering to ask himself whether it’s true or not, so his bit about the GDP seemed particularly nuts. After all, two quarters of negative GDP is the very definition of a recession, and we’ve had loads of those — usually half a decade or so after people forget what fuckups Republicans are.
So is it fair to throw this back in Trump’s face now that he’s in charge and the economy has slithered down a sinkhole? Well, he had no trouble inventing unemployment numbers and claiming, without evidence, that Obama was a historical failure. So I’d say this is fair game.
And since Trump hitched his wagon to the state of the economy ages ago, I say we make sure it stays hitched there — come hell or high water.
“This guy is a natural. Sometimes I laugh so hard I cry.” — Bette Midler on Aldous J. Pennyfarthing, via Twitter. Find out what made dear Bette break up. Dear Fcking Lunatic: 101 Obscenely Rude Letters to Donald Trump and its boffo sequels Dear Prsident A**clown: 101 More Rude Letters to Donald Trump and Dear F*cking Moron: 101 More Letters to Donald Trump by Aldous J. Pennyfarthing are now available for a song! Click those links, yo!