On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 1,175 points, the single largest point decline in the history of the market.
The White House response? Something like this:
“Look, markets do fluctuate in the short term, we all know that and they do that for a number of reasons,” said White House spokesman Raj Shah. “But the fundamentals of this economy are very strong and they are headed in the right direction, for the middle class in particular.”
Which is a TOTALLY reasonable argument to make. Focusing on any one day – or even one week – of stock market performance is akin to standing six inches away from a picture and trying to define what is depicted.
Trump has, repeatedly, taken credit for each and every rise in the stock market since coming into office last January.
“You take a look at what’s going on with the stock market,” he said in February 2017. “Trillions of dollars of value have been created since I won the election — I mean trillions.”
Or this tweet from last summer: “Stock Market could hit all-time high (again) 22,000 today. Was 18,000 only 6 months ago on Election Day. Mainstream media seldom mentions!”
Using the stock market as the leading proof point of your economic successes is a fool’s errand. As any economist will tell you.
But that’s just what Trump has spent the past year doing. Which means he has to own the bad days, like today.
The Point: Trump’s reliance on the rising stock market was always fraught with political peril. He now has to hope that there aren’t too may more days like this to come.
Read Monday’s full edition of The Point.