The COVID-19 Recession Is All on Trump

A couple of months ago, I remember arguing that it would be fairly easy to restart the economy once we had defeated COVID-19. My reasoning was pretty simple: unlike a normal recession, which breeds a tremendous amount of uncertainty, an artificial recession can be brought to a clean end. Once COVID-19 is gone, businesses can be certain that the economy will recover immediately, especially since government aid programs ensured that consumers had plenty of money saved up to begin buying stuff again.

Now, I’ll fess up to being a little too cavalier about this. It was probably always going to be harder than I thought. But one thing I never took into consideration—because it seemed ridiculous—was the notion that we would just give up on COVID-19 and therefore cause precisely the kind of uncertainty you get with a normal recession. I mean, that’s just crazy, right? No one would do that.

But in the era of Trump, that’s exactly what we did. So not only do we have a deep recession, but nobody knows when it will end. And even if it looks like it’s about to end, nobody can be sure that it’s really ending. If anything, Trump has created an economic doom loop with even more uncertainty than any recession we’ve ever had. And I guess the public is finally catching on to that:

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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