According to Jay Powell, the Fed’s chairman, the goal was to take out some insurance against worrying hints of a future slowdown — in particular, weakness in business investment, which fell in the most recent quarter, and manufacturing, which has been declining since the beginning of the year. Powell couldn’t say in so many words that Trumponomics has been a big flop, but that was the subtext of his remarks. Trump’s frantic efforts to bully the Fed into bigger cuts are an implicit admission. To be fair, the economy remains pretty strong, given the G.O.P.’s willingness to run huge budget deficits. As I wrote three days after the 2016 election:“It’s at least possible that bigger budget deficits will, if anything, strengthen the economy briefly.” And that’swhat happened: There was a bit of a bump in 2018, but at this point we’ve basically returned to pre-Trump rates of growth.'