Trump's 'Economic Narcissism' the Biggest Threat to the Global Economy Right Now, Warns Former NEC Director

A former top White House adviser has joined the growing chorus of criticism surrounding the economic policies of President Donald Trump, claiming they will not just adversely impact the U.S. but also the wider world.

Sources with close links to the White House and congressional Republican leaders have told The Washington Post they are concerned about internal forecasts showing the U.S. economy could slow over the next year, which would affect Trump's re-election chances.

Officials have drawn up options for Trump, including lowering corporation tax and imposing a currency transaction to weaken the dollar to bolster the economy, with one Republican source telling the paper: "Everyone is nervous—everyone. It's not a panic, but they are nervous."

The paper reported that U.S. growth is being hurt by Trump's trade war with China and other mixed messages.

Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on August 22, 2019. The former NEC director has warned that Trump's behavior is putting the U.S. economy at risk. MANDEL NGAN/Getty Images

He rowed back on new tariffs against Chinese imports earlier this month and has also flipped his position on new tax cuts. His canceled visit to Denmark over a surreal spat regarding the sale of Greenland has also added to uncertainty.

The former head of the National Economic Council (NEC), Gene Sperling, told the Post that Trump's unpredictability is causing economic uncertainty beyond American shores.

"The irony here is that Trump's erratic, chaotic approach to the economy is probably the most significant economic risk factor in the world right now.

"Their response is just to show even more erratic behavior. It's economic narcissism. It's economic policy by whim, pride, ego and tantrum."

The White House has continues to tout the country's high employment levels and wage growth as vindication of Trump's policies.

"The fundamentals of the economy are strong because of this president's pro-growth policies," White House spokesman Judd Deere said, repeating the message that the economy is strong. This is at odds with the Democrats, who say it is heading toward a recession.

Economists this week have warned that the federal budget deficit is expected to spike considerably and was on an "unsustainable" course, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Tony Fratto, who served in senior roles during the George W. Bush administration at the White House and the Treasury Department, told the Post: "This administration has not done itself a whole lot of favors in talking about the economy.

"They have done a lot of communicating that is verifiably false on the economy."

The White House has insisted it is not considering short-term actions to jolt the economy but is developing a long-term tax cuts 2.0 plan that may be unveiled during the 2020 campaign, ABC News reported.

Meanwhile, Trump ally Rep. Mark Meadows (N.C.) said the news cycle, not the state of the economy, was to blame.

"It's not economic data that's driving the concern as much as headlines and the stock market having a big drop,"

"It becomes a headline, then it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy that is not based on any underlying economic fundamentals," he told the Post.