During Friday’s edition of Real Time With Bill Maher, host Bill Maher told his Trump-hating audience and his fellow panelists that he would like to see the economy fail if it means the end of President Trump: “I feel like the bottom has to fall out at some point and by the way, I’m hoping for it because I think one way you get rid of Trump is to crash the economy. So please, bring on the recession. Sorry if that hurts people but it’s either root for a recession or you lose your democracy.”
Fortunately for Maher, Showtime co-host, frequent MSNBC guest, and panelist John Heilemann appeared pessimistic about the economy: “Trump is doing everything you could possibly do to screw up the good economy.”
Heilemann then tried to make the case that Trump contradicted himself by talking about low unemployment while simultaneously complaining that America is getting robbed blind by the foreigners.”
CNN host and plagiarist Fareed Zakaria did not initially seem to agree that an economic downturn looms over the United States. He cited a statement from former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who pointed out that the economy is now in its second-longest expansion in postwar history.
Zakaria then gave Maher a glimmer of hope that his dream of a recession may in fact come true by bringing up Bernanke’s reference to the economy as the “Wiley Coyote economy,” where “it’s going but at some point these things accumulate,” like adding to the federal deficit and ongoing trade disputes.
Syndicated columnist Linda Sanchez pointed out that “the business cycle still exists and you’re right, we have been in a very long expansion.” She signaled that this expansion may come to an end because “the fact that we have labor shortages is going to lead to either wages that end up not just going up but becoming inflationary, so we need more people to get in and do those jobs and a trade war is about the worst thing that we can do.”
At least Bill Maher, who has developed a reputation for his bluntness and political incorrectness, was totally up front about how he feels; unlike many of his counterparts in the left-wing media who do not explicitly come out and say how they feel. Maher would rather see Trump fail than see America succeed. If Trump failing means the country has to fail first, then so be it. The ends justify the means.
To see the relevant transcipt, click “expand.”
HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher
LINDA SANCHEZ: Frankly, the wall’s not going to get people out. We, people come here to work. And they come here to work because we need them and we need their labor. Shermichael, with all due respect, I’m sorry if I’m an employer, I don’t necessarily want to hire somebody who’s been on disability, who hasn’t worked in the last, you know, 15 months. I would rather have somebody who’s come here, who sees the bottom rungs of the ladder as a stepping stone and wants to move up.
SHERMICHAEL SINGLETON: So you don’t think Americans have seen the bottom of the ladder?
SANCHEZ: They don’t take those jobs. I can tell you.
SINGLETON: In rural America, in urban America?
BILL MAHER: That’s proven. You cannot get Americans to pick crops.
SINGLETON: Bill, I understand that but I do not agree with prioritizing other individuals over people who live in this country who need jobs, that’s ridiculous to me.
MAHER: Can I ask about the economy? Because this economy is going pretty well, we have to, what, why is that funny?
SINGLETON: It is going well for now.
MAHER: For now, right. That’s my, thank you, that’s my question. Is like, I feel like the bottom has to fall out at some point and by the way, I’m hoping for it because I think one way you get rid of Trump is a crashing economy. So please, bring on the recession. Sorry if that hurts people but it’s either root for a recession or you lose your democracy.
JOHN HEILEMANN: Trump is doing everything you could possibly do to screw up the good economy. It’s like, everything is going great. This is the great thing, you watch Trump’s rhetoric he stands up there and says lowest unemployment ever, African-Americans doing great, we’re all doing fantastic, best ever. But also, it’s a disaster. We’ve got to change everything. America is getting robbed blind by the foreigners, it’s like what the fuck are you talking about? Do we have a good economy or a bad economy? Because if we have a good economy, why not just let it ride? If we have a bad economy, we will have another conversation. But he’s making no sense but then of course, that is the refrain of Trump.
FAREED ZAKARIA: If you look, just I think, a day ago, Ben Bernanke gave, made a speech where he gave some testimony which was really interesting. He said, look, this economy is now the second-longest expansion in postwar history. It’s at about nine, I think nine years sum. In ten years it will be the longest expansion, it’s been slow, slow but steady. There are no great imbalances so it’s difficult to see where things would go wrong. Economists are famously bad at predicting this because the same economists have predicted nine of the last five recessions. So you do have to be cautious but he pointed out, he said, the one thing you do know is when times are good, is when you try to reduce the budget deficits, you pay down your debt. You know, when the, when the sun is shining you’ll fix the roof.
MAHER: Every other country is doing that but us.
ZAKARIA: We’ve added a trillion and a half dollars to the deficit and we’re starting a trade war. And this is the wrong time to do it. So he described, this is Ben Bernanke, conservative Republican appointed by Bush, he said this is the Wiley Coyote economy. It’s going but at some point these things, these problems accumulate. So maybe you’ll get your wish but he sounded like it was more next year.
SANCHEZ: We have to remember the business cycle. The business cycle still exists and you’re right, we have been in a very long expansion. But the fact that we have labor shortages is going to lead to either wages that end up not just going up but becoming inflationary, so we need more people to get in and do those jobs and a trade war is about the worst thing that we can do.