Thursday morning, the government will release a number, and Donald Trump and his flunkeys will jump all over it. It will be the official level of GDP growth in the third quarter of this year, and it’s going to show a huge number, like 30 percent.
You can hear him now, and Larry Kudlow, and all the rest of them. Thirty percent! The biggest quarter of economic growth ever, by far! (Unlike everything else Trump says, this will be technically true, even.) The economy is back, baby! V-shaped recovery! The economy is again the greatest in the history of the country, the Western Hemisphere, the world, the solar system, the known universe, the mind of God!
That’s what they’ll say. Don’t buy it. I write this column as a public service to explain to you why this is a massive and desperate lie. The number will be the last piece of good pre-election news Trump will get. In a week when polls are reinforcing the idea that he’s sliding, he’s flailing around at his rallies attacking Ilhan Omar and Borat, getting his supporters sick, stranding them in 32-degree weather for three hours, he’ll seize on this as good news. But it isn’t anywhere near as good he’ll be trying to spin.