Donald Trump adjusted his own economic plan’s growth projections on the fly Thursday afternoon, suggesting that 4 percent annual growth was possible, just minutes after saying his plan would average 3.5 percent growth.
“Over the next 10 years, our economic team estimates that under our plan the economy will average 3.5 percent growth and create a total of 25 million new jobs. You can visit our website to see the math. It works,” Trump said. Moments later, Trump told the crowd at the nonpartisan Economics Club of New York he thought his team could surpass 4 percent annual growth. "My great economists don't want me to say this, but I think we can do better than that.”
Trump’s proposal is ambitious -– the nation hasn’t seen 3.5 percent annual growth since 2004 and 4 percent growth since 2000. The country has hovered around 2 percent growth since the recession, and economists have called previous Republican calls to double growth unrealistic.
Trump said the growth could be achieved through tax reform, massively slashing regulations, rebuilding the nation’s coal and steel industries and renegotiating trade deals. Trump's speech relied heavily on his past economic proposals, and somewhat more realistic proposal for growth. Last year Trump proposed he could hit 6 percent growth.
“Everything that is broken today can be fixed, and every failure can be turned into a great success,” Trump said in his speech Thursday.
But when pressed to explain and quantify the impressive results he predicted, Trump struggled to offer more details.
“We’re going to unleash tremendous opportunity,” he said in a question-and-answer session after his prepared remarks. “We’re going to unleash a lot with the regulations. We’re going to unleash tremendous number of jobs coming into the country. We’re going to have great cutting, waste, fraud and abuse.”
His speech didn’t reference entitlement reform, something conservative economists widely believe is crucial to lessening the debt and deficit. Trump said significant growth would cut down the deficit.
He blamed Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama for doubling the national debt -– he did not acknowledge the two costly wars that were in progress when the president took office –- and argued that Clinton’s plan would “cost our economy $5 trillion.”
That’s just shy of half what Trump’s tax plan was previously estimated to cost the nation, before he modified it over the summer and later said he would allow parents to fully deduct their childcare expenses.
“You can visit our website, just look at the math, it works," Trump said Thursday of his plans.