President Donald Trump, right, talks with Kentucky Gov Matt Bevin, left, as they walk down down the steps of Air Force One at Louisville International Airport in Louisville, Ky, Wednesday. Photo: AP
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Trump flip-flops on tax cuts, citing 'strong economy'

24 Comments
By Kevin Freking, Josh Boak and Jonathan Lemire

A day after considering cutting taxes to promote economic growth, President Donald Trump on Wednesday changed course and said he would abandon the idea because the nation already had "a strong economy."

Trump's flip-flop came after recent market volatility and economic uncertainty, and amid a debate about whether the United States was heading for a slowdown that would imperil his reelection chances. Trump earlier this week acknowledged, for the first time, that his China trade policies may mean economic pain for Americans, though he insisted the tariffs are needed for more important long-term benefits.

But his consideration of cutting payroll taxes appeared short-lived.

"I'm not looking at a tax cut now," he told reporters at the White House. "We don't need it. We have a strong economy."

Trump also knocked down the idea of indexing to the capital gains tax, which applies when investors sell assets, to inflation. He said he feared "it will be perceived, if I do it, as somewhat elitist."

Analysts have warned that a slowdown, if not full-blown recession, could hit before next year's election. Trump, however, has largely praised the economy's performance and his handling of it. He has often blamed the Federal Reserve (and Chairman Jerome Powell) and the global slowdown for creating dark clouds at home.

"Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve have totally missed the call. I was right and just about everybody admits that," Trump said Wednesday. "He raised interest rates too fast, too furious, and we have a normalized rate. And now we have to go the other direction."

Some White House advisers fear Trump has undercut Powell's credibility. They worry that the president's calls for rate cuts and his discussion of indexing or a payroll tax cut could spook, rather than reassure markets.

Trump indicated he had no choice but to impose the trade penalties that have been a drag on U.S. manufacturers, financial markets and, by some measures, American consumers.

"Somebody had to do it. I am the chosen one," Trump said on the White House lawn, looking skyward. "Somebody had to do it. So, I'm taking on China. I'm taking on China on trade."

China, though, said trade with the U.S. has been "mutually beneficial" and appealed to Washington to "get along with us." A foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, expressed hope Washington can "meet China halfway" in settling disagreements.

The U.S. economy appears to be showing vulnerabilities after more than 10 years of growth. Factory output has fallen and consumer confidence has waned as he has ramped up his trade fight with China.

Trump rattled the stock and bond markets this month when he announced plans to put a 10% tax on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports. The market reaction suggested a recession might be on the horizon and led Trump to delay some of the tariffs that were scheduled to begin in September, though 25% tariffs are already in place for $250 million in other Chinese goods.

The president has long maintained that the burden of the tariffs is falling solely on China, yet that message was undermined by his statements to reporters Tuesday. "My life would be a lot easier if I didn't take China on," Trump said. "But I like doing it because I have to do it."

The world economy has been slowing in recent months, and recent stock market swings have added to concerns that the U.S. economy is not immune. A survey Monday showed a big majority of economics expect a downtown to hit by 2021.

Addressing that possibility, Trump focused anew on pressuring the Fed to cut interest rates. Presidents have generally avoided criticizing the central bank publicly. Trump, however, has shown no inclination to follow that lead, positioning Powell to take the fall if the economy swoons.

"I think that we actually are set for a tremendous surge of growth, if the Fed would do its job," Trump said. "That's a big if." Trump recommended a minimum cut of a full percentage point in the coming months.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

24 Comments

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There should be a moratorium on covering anything he says or tweets for at least 24 hours. 80% of the time he either walks it back, or doubles down and exacerbates his original error or lie.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

He just raped his base and they will probably claim to love it.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

He said he feared "it will be perceived, if I do it, as somewhat elitist."

Trump's a shill for the putative 'elitists'. He's in office to ensure their wealth continues to grow, along with his and his family's. (See Ivanka Inc. deals with the CCP). He's giving the 'elite' even larger subsidies in his ongoing programs of socialism for the rich.

While the national debt, to be paid for by younger generations, balloons.

There should be a moratorium on covering anything he says or tweets for at least 24 hours.

Either that or have the media reporting anything he says use a large asterisk as caveat.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Trump talks out of his butt so often that even HE doesnt know what he is talking about.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

There should be a moratorium on covering anything he says or tweets! 100% of the time he either walks it back, or doubles down and exacerbates his original error or lie.

There I fixed it for ya! lol!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I believe the goal is to flood, overflow the media. That way we can't follow up on anything, we forget, let go.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Every minute, it’s something else with this malignant moron.

So in the past 48 hours, regarding the payroll tax cut, the answer from the White House/President has been no/yes/no/yes/no.

Wow, what a stable genius.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Great comment on CNN today....

Trump is flipping more than Simone Biles....

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Has Trump ever been tested for scopolamine in his system?

It would explain a lot if someone is slipping it into his drinks or air conditioning.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Trump is a complete idiot!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What he is talking about is essentially what Bush did to fund his wars, take money from the Social Security Fund and leave an I.O.U. Bush took 2.3 trillion dollars. How much this "tax cut" will take from the fund is not yet clear. This is NOT the income tax. It's our social insurance fund payment. And he wants to take it just to support his re-election chances by doing things that will multiply the effects of a downturned economy. There will be no reserves anywhere. Just a short term payoff to nonthinkers who will see a slight boost in their paystubs almost immediately and start spending like it's permanent. Goose the economy any way possible. Til it's cooked.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So he announced possible tax cuts, then changes his mind the next day. Stable.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What's the difference between Trump and the USA Women's Gymnastic Team?

Trump flips more....and the Women's Team is "winning"....

5 ( +5 / -0 )

And in the end, it's the farmers that get hurt:

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/dairy-farmers-trade-war-182208360.html

4 ( +4 / -0 )

200 million with no healthcare

150 million not on the payroll

50 million on food stamps

100 odd million taxpayers, the vast majority work at Wallmarts, Amazon Package & Starbucks for $10/hr

3.5 million incarcerated in the highly profitable Prison Industry

100,000 Opiod Crises deaths annually

100,000 Homicides annually.

Unemployment (including long term/ and those who've totally dropped out of the job market) running at 25%

Yes Mr Trump......The economy is goin greaat!!!!.......lol

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Trumpers will believe whatever he said, regardless of the fact it is all lies.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The U.S. economy appears to be showing vulnerabilities after more than 10 years of growth.

10?? I thought it had only been growing since he took office?? You mean there was growth during the Obama administration? This can't be right...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I believe the goal is to flood, overflow the media. That way we can't follow up on anything, we forget, let go.

Agreed. It's similar to fire-hosing.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

You would think the Trump haters here would be pleased that he's not promoting further tax cuts at this time being as how they've all been complaining about his "tax cuts on the 1%" lolol.

This biased news reporting is really something. Ya'll should have articles more like "Mexico doing more for U.S. border security than U.S. Democrats, thanks to Trump."

200 million with no healthcare

Sure, lulldapull, just make up stuff and post it, sheesh.

150 million not on the payroll

Yeah, some young mothers and kids couldn't make it to work, lol

There are more people working in the U.S. now than ever before. Unemployment at record and near record lows. Pesky facts, aren't they!

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

You would think the Trump haters here would be pleased that he's not promoting further tax cuts at this time being as how they've all been complaining about his "tax cuts on the 1%"

What’s your take? Do you have to keep checking Trump’s latest Tweet to update your view?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Position of weakness. The strong don’t beg others to “get along with us.” They demand others get along with them.

China, though, said trade with the U.S. has been "mutually beneficial" and appealed to Washington to "get along with us.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

All Trump's doing but he's quick as usual to blame others. What an utter loser he is. How much more of this embarrassment can America take?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

200 million with no healthcare

80% of Americans do have private healthcare and are happy with it.

150 million not on the payroll

And so many jobs that are filled

50 million on food stamps.

And that number will tick up if liberals can dish out more entitlements

100 odd million taxpayers, the vast majority work at Wallmarts, Amazon Package & Starbucks for $10/hr

Good

3.5 million incarcerated in the highly profitable Prison Industry

You want to let them out??? Why?

100,000 Opiod Crises deaths annually

What is San Francisco going to do about their problems with opioid and heroin addiction?

100,000 Homicides annually. 

Guns save more lives than the opposite

https://www.capitalismmagazine.com/2019/04/how-many-lives-are-saved-by-guns-and-why-dont-gun-controllers-care/

Unemployment (including long term/ and those who've totally dropped out of the job market) running at 25%

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/03/nonfarm-payrolls-april-2019.html

Yes Mr Trump......The economy is goin greaat!!!!.......lol

It is. Consumer spending is up. 68% of the US economy is based on consumer spending. Companies like Walmart and Amazon are doing way better than expected, incomes are going up, what’s not to love? So as long as people are buying and spending money, the economy is indeed better than good.

https://www.apnews.com/994dd0b633e74cd68166e0dd6604b320

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Trump has been flip-flopping on the issues lately - from stringent gun background checks, to payroll tax cuts, to the Greenland issue

He'd say one thing, then the next thing he'd say the opposite

Ya can't take his word for it

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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