A former top economic adviser to President Barack Obama is predicting a general election scenario leaving Democratic Party insiders startled.
Jason Furman smoothly transitioned from the Obama White House to Harvard University. In April, the power player-turned-professor had a surprising message to share during a video conference with a bipartisan cadre of top officials concerned that the coronavirus pandemic would herald in another recession, if not a depression.
Regardless, the census at the moment was the economy would collapse, along with President Trump’s chances at reelection. Politico explains how Furman had another take.
“We are about to see the best economic data we’ve seen in the history of this country,” he said.
While the attendees looked confused, Furman explained his rationale, something he continues to do to any Democratic strategist that will listen.
“Everyone looked puzzled and thought I had misspoken,” Furman said in an interview. Instead of forecasting a prolonged depression-level economic catastrophe, Furman laid out a detailed case for why the months preceding the November election could offer Trump the chance to brag — truthfully — about the most explosive monthly employment numbers and GDP growth ever.
Furman’s case begins with the premise that the 2020 pandemic-triggered economic collapse is categorically different than the Great Depression or the Great Recession, which both had slow, grinding recoveries.
Instead, he believes, the way to think about the current economic drop-off, at least in the first two phases, is more like what happens to a thriving economy during and after a natural disaster: a quick and steep decline in economic activity followed by a quick and steep rebound.
The former White House wonk’s analysis isn’t far off from those serving in the Trump administration, including Jared Kushner, who predicted with cautious optimism that the economy could experience explosive growth as early as July.
The prediction has one leading Democrat who’s still close to Obama revealing his level of concern, per Politico: “It’s high — high, high, high, high.”