President Trump has continuously attacked the Federal Reserve by writing on Twitter. Yet he also suggested those actions aren't necessary. "But I'm looking at that all the time, anyway", the president told reporters on Tuesday afternoon.
A case can be made for the White House position.
The US has continued to see positive economic growth and a hot job market, thanks in part to Trump's 2017 tax cuts, but that's been largely driven by consumer demand that could be dashed by a slowdown overseas.
Economists polled by NABE expressed concern that USA tariffs on China and other countries, as a well as higher federal budget deficits, could hurt economic growth. He called any short-term pain the USA has to pay from the trade war "irrelevant". "And it's something that would be very easy to do", he said. "I am doing this whether this is good or bad".
Economic trends tend to predict election outcomes, and recessions can be radioactive for the party in power.
Many economists are warning that a recession may be on its way, and have put some of the blame on President Trump's trade war with China for bringing economic instability.
For Trump, the economy may be even more important than for his predecessors.
The White House, however, pushed back on that characterization, saying that "more tax cuts for the American people are certainly on the table, but cutting payroll taxes is not something under consideration at this time".
"I'm not talking about doing anything at this moment", he said in response to a question about whether the country can afford tax cuts.
The president replied that: "S omebody had to take China on".
White House Chief Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow rejected thoughts of a recession Sunday in an interview on NBC's Meet The Press.
Trump said he "would love to do something on capital gains".
With approval ratings consistently below 50 per cent and polls showing him getting thumped by potential Democratic candidates, Trump enters the 2020 campaign season facing significant headwinds - except on the economy.
White House officials had previously insisted that data indicating a possible recession was being exaggerated, and underlying indicators meant the prospects for the economy remained good. Business investment is cooling and manufacturing has weakened.
But an alarm bell went off in the U.S. Treasury bond market last week when 10-year bond yields briefly fell below the yields offered on a two year-bond-the inverse of what normally happens. "We have to solve the problem with China because they're taking out $500 billion a year plus", remarked President Trump Tuesday.
"Now", said Reich, "the American people are waking up to the damage he has done to our economy by waging senseless trade wars and handing out trillions in tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations".