Trump promised annual growth of more than 4%. His Council of Economic Advisers just predicted this year won't even reach 2.5%.
Donald Trump's top economic advisers on Thursday poured cold water on his claims of the "greatest economy in the history of our country."
Although he promised previously that his 2017 tax legislation would bring annual economic growth of "4, 5, and maybe even 6% ultimately," Trump's Council of Economic Advisers — a handpicked corps of economic experts — now say the economy is on track for just 2.4% growth in 2020.
The council released it "Economic Report of the President" on Thursday. While the report optimistically predicted "economic growth to rise in 2020 from its projected 2019 pace of 2.5 percent, and to remain at or above 3.0 percent in 2022," it noted that would only happen with "new measures" to roll back regulations, immigration reform, and new trade deals.
Without those, the advisers admitted, growth will likely drop to just 2.4% for 2020 and 2.3% for 2021.
With the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passing progressive legislation and a Republican Senate blocking almost all of it, the odds of Trump getting through his desired major policy changes this year are slim.
The Council's numbers fall well short of both Trump's promises as a candidate and his bullish projections after the GOP-lead Congress passed his 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act.
Trump's 2016 campaign website said he would "[b]oost growth to 3.5 percent per year on average, with the potential to reach a 4 percent growth rate."
He told Fox News in March 2016, that economic growth of "4% or 5%" was "absolutely doable."
That October, in the final general election debate, Trump's promises got even grander. "[W]e're bringing GDP from, really, 1 percent, which is what it is now," he said, "up to 4 percent. And I actually think we can go higher than 4 percent. I think you can go to 5 percent or 6 percent."
As he signed his tax bill in December 2017, cutting taxes for the very rich and large corporations, Trump told the nation the changes would fuel growth that would rise "3%" to "4, 5, and maybe even 6% ultimately."
Trump's economy has not come close to living up to those promises. The Bureau of Economic Analysis announced last month that in the third and fourth quarters of 2019, the economy slowed to just 2.1% growth. The nation's gross domestic product grew 2.3% for the year, compared to 2.9% in 2018.
In September 2018, Trump invented a phony quote from President Barack Obama, falsely claiming his predecessor once said he would never achieve 4.2% growth and boasting that he would do even better.
"'President Trump would need a magic wand to get to 4% GDP,' stated President Obama. I guess I have a magic wand," Trump tweeted. "4.2%, and we will do MUCH better than this! We have just begun."
In reality, Obama's 2016 comment had been about manufacturing jobs, not GDP growth. During his two terms in office, Obama achieved quarterly growth of at least 4.2% on three separate occasions.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.