Trump hits Federal Reserve as the ‘most difficult problem’ facing US
President Trump took aim at the Federal Reserve on Saturday, labeling it the “most difficult problem” the U.S. faces and again criticizing the independent central bank for raising interest rates.
“Strong jobs report, low inflation, and other countries around the world doing anything possible to take advantage of the United States, knowing that our Federal Reserve doesn’t have a clue!” Trump tweeted late Friday night. “They raised rates too soon, too often, & tightened, while others did just the opposite.”
“As well as we are doing from the day after the great Election, when the Market shot right up, it could have been even better – massive additional wealth would have been created, & used very well,” he continued. “Our most difficult problem is not our competitors, it is the Federal Reserve!”
….As well as we are doing from the day after the great Election, when the Market shot right up, it could have been even better – massive additional wealth would have been created, & used very well. Our most difficult problem is not our competitors, it is the Federal Reserve!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 6, 2019
Trump touted the report on Friday while claiming the economy would have transcended previous highs if the Fed yielded to his desire for lower rates. The president has argued that the Fed should lower interest rates to stimulate the economy and aid his trade battles while inflation remains low.
“If we had a Fed that would lower interest rates, we’d be like a rocket ship, but we’re paying a lot of interest and it’s unnecessary,” he said Friday. “But we don’t have a Fed that knows what they’re doing, so it’s one of those little things. But if we had a Fed that would lower rates, you would have a rocket ship.”
Trump has repeatedly criticized Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s leadership of the independent central bank, accusing his tenure of stunting economic growth through rate hikes.
The bank has increased interest rates nine times since 2015 — seven times since 2017 and four times under Powell, who took over as chairman in 2018 after Trump nominated him to the job.
Trump said last month in an interview with The Hill that he has the power to fire Powell “if I wanted to, but I have no plans to do anything.” But experts have been critical of that assertion, citing the Federal Reserve Act, which says the president can remove the Fed chair only for “cause.”
Trump in October called the Fed his “biggest threat,” adding that it is “raising rates too fast.”
The U.S. economy’s strength is crucial to Trump’s bid for a second term in office; Trump has touted joblessness reaching near record lows as he has ramped up his campaign for reelection.
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