Fox News lets Trump ramble on about inflation — which his policies would actually make worse

Fox & Friends let Trump lie about the state of the economy with no follow-up about his own policies

During a March 5 phone interview with former president Donald Trump, Fox & Friends allowed the likely 2024 Republican nominee to claim that he would solve inflation — which has already declined from a peak of 9.1% in 2022 down to 3.1% under President Joe Biden's leadership, and is expected to continue falling. Moreover, the network failed to question him further about his major economic policy proposals for the 2024 campaign — which would make inflation worse all over again, by increasing prices paid by American consumers and cutting off access to both goods and labor.

Instead of asking Trump about any number of his campaign's economic policies, co-host Lawrence Jones teed up the disgraced former president to lament the current state of the U.S. economy, asking him to propose solutions to enact in his first 100 days to address inflation in general, and gasoline and grocery prices in particular.

All the former president could muster was a call for more oil production. “We’re going to drill, baby, drill,” he said. “We’re going to get prices down, energy’s going to bring it all down.” New drilling won’t solve inflation because U.S. oil production is already at an all-time high, and is further expected to set another record this year under President Biden. Increasing oil production also won't result in lower gasoline prices, which have come down since peaking in 2022 after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Video file

Citation From the March 5, 2024, edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends

LAWRENCE JONES: Mr. President, a lot of people believe that you’re at your best when you’re fighting for the American people. And we just heard in the diners, we heard immigration, but the other top issue is the economy. What are you going to do give us some relief when it comes to this inflation? People are going to the, you know, whether it’s the gas station or to the grocery store, and they’re being hit hard. How do you fix that in the first hundred days?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, first of all, let me speak to the people in the diner. I saw the vote, and it was 100% Trump, none for my opponent. And I love you in the diner, I will take care of you and we’re going to drill, baby, drill, and we’re going to get prices down, energy’s going to bring it all down. We’re going to get a lot of that oil, and we're going to get the oil and gas right from Texas and other places, but from Texas largely. And I just appreciate it. I saw that vote early this morning, they said, Will [Cain] said — Will’s doing a good job, by the way. Will said, you’re for Trump, and the whole place went crazy. What about Haley? Nobody, not one person. So, all of those people in the diner, I love you.


Trump never addressed the other component that Lawrence Jones mentioned: grocery prices. Grocery prices are up because of supply chain disruptions — which Trump’s proposals could make worse.

In fact, Trump’s campaign has proposed a number of policies experts that say are likely to rapidly increase inflation. One proposal is to institute a 10% universal import tariff and impose a 60% tariff on goods from China, which would raise the prices of imports not only for finished products but also components used by American manufacturers. His draconian plans for mass deportations and militarized detention camps would also drive immigrants out of the labor market, a group that helped the U.S. economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Trump has also proposed replacing Federal Reserve chairman Jay Powell, whom Trump himself originally appointed, despite Powell's successful record in bringing inflation down over the past three years without triggering a recession.

Economists agree: Trump’s proposal to radically increase tariffs and deport workers would cause more inflation

Liberal and conservative economists — including Casey B. Mulligan, the former chief economist for the Trump administration's Council of Economic Advisers — agreed that Trump's proposed universal tariff would drastically increase inflation.

As The Washington Post reported, Mulligan “estimated in an interview that Trump’s 10 percent import tariff proposal would add an extra percentage point to inflation, or a quarter percent a year if spread out over four years.”

Michael Strain of the conservative American Enterprise Institute further exclaimed about Trump's proposal: “‘You’re going to massively restrict the supply of workers and do a 10 percent across the board tariff?’ On the economics, that’s completely insane.”

Conservative economist Doug Holtz-Eakin also suggested that Trump’s trade and immigration policies might lead to a “wage-price spiral,” a condition in which pay increases and prices push one another upward and thus cancel any seeming benefit for workers.

Economist Dean Baker from the Center for Economic and Policy Research posted on X (formerly Twitter): “Trump is promising massive tax increases in the form of tariffs, which will send inflation soaring if he carries through with them.”

Former Federal Reserve economist Claudia Sahm posted that Trump's plan of “jacking up tariffs and cutting off immigration are both inflationary.”

Trump’s inflationary policies might also guarantee higher interest rates

Reuters reported on an analysis by Rabobank finding that Trump’s proposed tariffs would affect not only the prices of goods, but also the prospects for the Federal Reserve to potentially bring interest rates back down.

“While there are many uncertainties about the impact of a second Trump presidency on economic policy, a rise in import tariffs is highly likely,” wrote Rabobank's U.S. strategist Philip Marey. “This will affect the trajectory of inflation and consequently the Fed's rate path.”

Business Insider also reported on an analysis by the financial services firm Macquarie, calling the prospect of another Trump presidency an “inflationary threat.”

Macquarie strategist Thierry Wizman likewise commented: “This too could give pause to FOMC [the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee] members as they realize that if real policy rates are to stay structurally high as a result, it may not make sense to take a step toward easing just yet.”

Trump’s mass deportation policies are not only inhumane — they’d also cause higher prices

Simply put, immigration is good for the economy and immigrants are vital to maintaining economic growth and a healthy labor market.

In a report on Trump's mass deportation plan, Axios noted that “top policymakers acknowledge that immigrants — including those who recently crossed the border illegally — have played a role in easing inflation and helping the economy avoid a recession after the pandemic.”

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has repeatedly explained that “immigrants are saving the U.S. economy” by expanding the labor force. And a February report from the Congressional Budget Office found that higher immigration to the U.S. will help boost the American economy by about $7 trillion in the next decade, and will add about $1 trillion in federal revenues.

Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told The Washington Post what this would mean in real terms: “It would lead to very sudden spikes in prices of key goods like fresh produce, hotel rooms, and housing repairs.”