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Trump White House insists economy is strong but weighing tax cuts amid recession fears

Bill Chizek/iStock
Bill Chizek/iStock

(WASHINGTON) — Even as President Donald Trump insists the U.S. economy is “the best in the world,” he is also weighing pursuing another round of tax cuts amid concerns about a possible looming recession.

“He’s looking at at tax cuts again, we think that spurs on the economic expansion,” White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said during an interview with FOX News Tuesday.

The possibility was discussed during a White House policy meeting on Monday. The idea of a payroll tax cut has also been floated in recent days, though officials say that idea has been tabled and is not under active consideration.

“It is not being considered at this time,” Gidley reiterated on Tuesday. “We are always looking to give people back their hard-earned money and that’s with the conversation was about.”

Publicly, the president continues to strike an optimistic tone about the strength of the U.S. economy and has sent his top economic aides on television to further amplify the White House message.

“We have the strongest economy, by far, in the world,” Trump insisted to reporters on Sunday. “I don’t see a recession. I mean, the world is in a recession right now. And — although, that’s too big a statement.”

To the extent Trump does acknowledge weakness in the economy, he points blame at the broader global landscape and at Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, whom he hand-picked for the job but has since fallen out of favor with Trump, who believes the Fed should further lower interest rates.

Our Economy is very strong, despite the horrendous lack of vision by Jay Powell and the Fed, but the Democrats are trying to “will” the Economy to be bad for purposes of the 2020 Election. Very Selfish! Our dollar is so strong that it is sadly hurting other parts of the world…

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2019

The president’s renewed interest in another round of tax cuts comes after his previous pledge, in the weeks just before the 2018 midterm elections, to pursue a 10 percent tax cut for the middle class. After the election, the president dropped all discussion of the promised tax cuts.

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