Kevin Hassett has always seemed like the potentially halfway normal guy in he senior strata of Trump's economic team. Like an apple-faced, medium C conservative with actual economic bona fides who loves corporate tax cuts and poor people. Hassett does a little more than the bare minimum Trump asskissing but in pursuit of actual policies that he has consistently supported as an academic for some time.
With Pete Navarro wandering the halls in his sweatpants muttering about China and Justin Trudeau going to hell, Larry Kudlow peacocking up to every camera that might be recording and spontaneously monologuing about how this is the first strong economy in American history, and Mick Mulvaney continuing to be the most belligerently priggish leprechaun in government, Hassett has appeared to be the guy that understood basic behavioral norms and therefore made the most relative sense.
But nothing lasts forever, and the dark magic of the White House lawn comes for every man...who advises Donald Trump on economic policy:
Kevin Hassett, one of President Donald Trump's top economic advisers, suggested that Goldman Sachs may be slanting its economic research to help Democrats ahead of the midterm elections.
The Goldman Sachs economics team "almost at times looks like the Democratic opposition," Hassett told CNN's Poppy Harlow on Tuesday.
Yup, Kevin Hassett has just set a new level of undisguised partisan hackery for a White House that cannot stop lashing out at anyone that doesn't fall directly in line with their mixed bag of objectively decent economic policy achievements. Hassett has out-Navarro'ed Navarro and cuddled up to the darkest instincts of Kuddles.
Claiming on television that 200 West St. is a factory of liberal propaganda is the kind of absurdist dog whistling that manages to twist logic and reason into such a knotted pretzel of thought that you almost have to stand back and admire the product as a work of art created by true technician of utter bullshit. We get that Hassett is dealing with the most rancorously partisan environment in modern history and a boss incapable of feeling criticized, but if you're at the point where you feel forced to say something about Goldman Sachs being a sectarian pawn of the left maybe you should just shut the fuck up.
But perhaps even more disappointing than claiming Jan Hatzius is a closet Bernie Bro was Hassett's "reasoning" for his argument...
The comment came after Harlow asked Hassett about a Goldman Sachs research report warning that a 25% US tariff on all imports from China could wipe out corporate profit growth in 2019.
Hassett said he hadn't read the research, but went on to criticize Goldman's track record. Hassett claimed its analysis of last year's tax cuts was "really, really wrong and timed in a partisan way." He said Goldman's analysis predicted the tax cuts would be "really harmful" to the economy or have little impact before jacking up its forecast after they passed.
Didn't even read it? That's a bummer not only because Hassett seems like the only reader over there, but also because it shows how obdurately incurious this White House is when it comes to, well, everything. Why isn't the head of the Council of Economic Advisers reading Goldman Sachs research on trade policy? Or every bank's research for that matter? If Hassett is still a true free-marketer, why not place his faith in the wisdom of research that clients pay for on the assumption that it will be correct more often that it isn't.
And we won't infer any reference to Wall Street Democrat globalists [n ée Jewish New Yorkers], we'll just rely on Hassett's somewhat overt reference:
"So maybe they're just trying to make a partisan point before the elections," said Hassett, chairman of Trump's Council of Economic Advisers.
Picking on Goldman Sachs is a follow-up to Trump's campaign ad that used a black and white image of a scary Lloyd Blankfein to communicate globalist evil, and the reasoning is obvious; it's all in the name.
Every major bank has been pretty uniformly critical of the potential disaster that a trade war with China presents, and since they understand how tariffs actually work, they're a bit cynical of their long-term usefulness to economic growth. So we look forward to Hassett never attacking the one bank run by a guy who's actually coming after Trump's job and has also been critical of the White House's fatal attraction to tariffs because it's hard to blow the dog whistle on wealthy Jewish New Yorkers when you're raving about JPMorgan.