Before they passed their tax cuts for corporations and the rich in December of 2017, many Republicans claimed it would unleash the economy and lead to permanently-higher growth. Some even said it would lead to permanent 4 percent growth.
Now, we knew that wasn't going to happen, but growth is actually trending downward.
The Commerce Department has released a preliminary assessment that the economy grew by 2.9 percent in 2018, but some economists now say that was probably a high-water mark for the Trump regime.
Thursday's preliminary 2.9 percent figure could later be revised, although economist Mark Zandi of Moody's Analytics said the most likely direction would be down.
For the rest of the president's term, economic forecasters agree, that number will decline.
"2018 will be the high-water mark for growth in the Trump administration," Zandi predicted. He expects the decade-old economic expansion will shrink to 1.1 percent growth in 2020, with a better-than-even chance of recession.
What you may not see discussed or conveyed anywhere else is that this 2.9 percent figure -- this high-water mark for growth under Trump -- was itself an anomaly.
You may recall that the economy grew at an annualized rate of over 4 percent during the second quarter of 2018, but you may also recall why that happened.
Imports and experts surged during the second quarter of 2018 as corporations and businesses rushed to get ahead of Trump's trade war; before retaliatory tariffs from Mexico, Canada, and China hit the books. That last-minute surge in trade led to a temporary blip in economic growth that we may not see again for years.
If economic growth shrinks to just 1.1 percent in 2020, we could see a few months during the year that look like a recession.