Barack Obama
Credit: Center for American Progress Action Fund/Wikimedia Commons

At a rally in Ashburn, Virginia this week, Trump said, “The [economic] numbers are getting worse and worse all the time. If they get real bad, I hope it happens fast, so I don’t have to — they’ll all blame me. You’ll end up winning and your first day, the economy crashes because of some incompetent people before me.”

That’s admittedly a bit of Palinesque word salad, but reading between the gobbledygook I think I can discern him saying that he thinks the economy is going to tank and that he hope it happens before the election so that he can benefit politically from it and also so he doesn’t get blamed for it when the downturn happens under his watch.

What’s clearer is his assertion that “the numbers are getting worse and worse,” which would be helpful to him if it were true. But, it’s not:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 255,000 in July. Revisions showed U.S. employers added 18,000 more jobs in May and June than previously estimated. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9% in July.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected employers would add 179,000 jobs in July alongside an unemployment rate of 4.8%.

I think Dubya Bush once said that he wanted to be the jobs president, but he wasn’t. That moniker will be forever enjoyed by the current occupant of the White House:

Love is pouring in from all sides for U.S. President Obama as he turns 55, celebrating his last birthday as the President…

In what seems to be a surprise gift for Obama from America, his approval rates shot as high as 54 percent on his birthday. Both CNN and ORC International confirmed that the President has secured the highest approval rating ever in his second term.

Under President Obama, the American economy has now experienced 77 months of consecutive private sector job growth, but Trump calls this “a disaster.”

Obama has not generally received enough credit for this, especially considering that the Republican Congress rejected every job-boosting idea that the administration offered over the last five and a half years. That didn’t prevent robust job growth, but it did prevent any effort to reduce income inequality and it allowed our infrastructure needs/risks to grow. With a friendly Congress, I am certain that unemployment would have been considerably lower because people would have been building and repairing stuff all over this country.

In any case, it’s good to know that Trump is rooting for an economic downturn to happen in the next 90 days so he can personally benefit. He has a habit of benefiting when others suffer. And, of course, Moody’s analysts say that Trump’s proposals would “would result in a two-year-long recession and a sharp increase in unemployment, among other ills.”

But what do they know? Those Bureau of Labor Statistics are a scam anyway, right?

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Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at