Ok, everybody, let’s welcome back Trump stooge Kevin Hassett for another humiliating episode of “Ok, actually this government shutdown is a real threat to the economy.”
Putting Hassett on television is second only to letting Rudy Giuliani open his mouth in public when it comes to things the administration shouldn’t do if they don’t want to be lampooned, but c’est la vie, right?
Hassett has of course been the man with the (non)plan when it comes to convincing the American public that Trump’s decision to take hostages in the pursuit of a $5 billion vanity project won’t ultimately bury the MAGA miracle meme as it relates to the economy. Normally, that job would fall to recession prognosticator par excellence Larry Kudlow, but he’s too busy trying to talk Bob Lighthizer and Peter Navarro out of plunging the world into a global depression by slamming the brakes on seven decades worth of progress on free trade.
When last we checked in on Hassett, he was explaining to Fox Business how one of his staffers has been forced to shuttle people around in an Uber on the weekends to make ends meet. That was a rather stunning admission coming from a man who just four days previous, told PBS that furloughed government workers were actually “better off” with the government shutdown.
Fast forward to Wednesday, and the shutdown is now in its 4,756th day (or at least that’s what it feels like for families who are subsisting on charity mac & cheese courtesy of Kraft’s modern day soup line). Economists, analysts and business luminaries of all stripes (including Jamie Dimon) have warned that growth could fall to zero this quarter if the shutdown doesn’t end soon. Long story short, Hassett now concurs.
Much like Giuliani has a hard time making it through a CNN interview without getting out-lawyered by an anchor, Hassett can’t seem to get through a 5-minute cameo without being out-economist’d by Poppy Harlow (who has made making a fool of Kevin something of a pet project). Watch this:
Obviously, the headline-grabber there is Hassett admitting that growth could indeed flatline, but the best part is definitively Poppy pointing out the inherent absurdity in the idea that because federal employees will get back pay, the damage to the economy will be undone. In other words, the best part is this:
Kevin, I’m not gonna buy two sandwiches for lunch when the government opens again. Or you know, go buy three lattes.
In any event, you can expect Trump to be profoundly displeased with Hassett for admitting that growth could indeed flatline in Q1.
And this time around, the President can’t call CNN “fake news”, because the “news” comes from his own policy advisor.