What Would Donald Trump Policies Do To Our Debt Position?

Any concern about our nation’s fiscal policy and debt position is warranted, but if, on a random day,  you were to Google “reviews of Trump’s economic policy,” as I did one day last week, here is what you would get from various opinion pieces.  I didn’t filter the Google hits, although I did cherry pick the quotes.  Members of the PVP Democrats would not be surprised to know that there was not a single reference that suggested that Trump’s economic policy would do anything but exacerbate the US debt position.


The Economist:

an adviser to Donald Trump, claimed this week that his candidate had a plan including “other factors we are going to propose” that will generate a budget surplus of between $4.5 trillion-7 trillion. That would be remarkable given that the Tax Foundation estimates that his planned tax cuts will reduce revenues by more than $10 trillion or that the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget puts the total cost of his announced plans at $12 trillion.


Donald Trump is the Republican to beat in the polls, yet most Americans don’t know where he stands on the key economic issues.  Visiting Trump’s official campaign website isn’t much help. It vows to “Make America Great Again!” but it doesn’t say how.

The Fiscal Times:

Here’s a Good Reason to Worry About Trump’s Economic Policies.  He [Trump’s Advisor] suggested that Trump’s plans for the economy could result in a surplus of up to $7 trillion after eight years — despite a consensus among economists that the Trump tax plan alone would increase deficits by more than $10 trillion.
Experts Weigh Donald Trump’s Tax Plan, and Find It Wanting…An analysis of the plan by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center found that the Trump plan was disproportionately beneficial to the wealthy, and would greatly increase the national debt.
The Fiscal Times asked a panel of distinguished experts in tax and fiscal policy to review the Trump proposal. They were uniformly unimpressed.
“This is pie-in-the-sky nonsense,” said William G. Gale, the Arjay and Frances Miller Chair in Federal Economic Policy at the Brookings institution and the co-director of the Tax Policy Center. Gale also served on the Council of Economic Advisers under President George H. W. Bush.

Donald Trump Tax Proposal Report Card

Gale Hoagland Holtz-Eakin Category Average
Legislative feasibility D C F D
Economic growth D C C C-
Fiscal responsibility D D F D-
Impact on taxpayers F C C D+
Expert average D- C- D-
“It would lose an enormous amount of revenue, cut taxes dramatically for the very richest households,” he said. “It would dramatically increase deficits. I don’t see how even a Republican-controlled legislature would have the guts to pass this.”
Bipartisan Policy Center senior vice president G. William Hoagland expressed “concern that such a tax plan if enacted would further increase tension and unrest over income distribution issues while not specifically addressing lower income poverty issue.”
Hoagland, who spent more than three decades working in the Senate, including a stint as director of budget and appropriations in the office of then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), said implementation of the Trump plan “might result in growing social and economic unrest increasing dangerous economic polarization.”
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, a conservative think tank, and former director of the Congressional Budget Office, said that from a legislative perspective, “The plan loses too much revenue to even be considered and lacks the cohesion of a genuine tax reform.” In terms of its impact on taxpayers, he said, “It reduces taxes for everyone, but at the expense of future taxpayers.”

Wall Street Journal:

Donald Trump’s Plans Don’t Add Up. Do Voters Care?
The GOP candidate’s tax plan will dramatically raise the debt, not decrease it.
Donald Trump would slash taxes by trillions of dollars, leave entitlements alone, boost spending on infrastructure and defense, and, claims an advisor, deliver a budget surplus of $4.5 trillion to $7 trillion.  There is no credible way to reconcile these claims. Mr. Trump’s proposals will, if enacted, dramatically raise the debt, not decrease it, much less produce a surplus.
Starting in the 1970s, some Republicans claimed lower tax rates would generate so much growth, the resulting revenue would pay for the tax cuts. Whether they actually believed this was less relevant than the fact it was easier to sell politically than “root-canal” spending cuts.  In the end tax cuts didn’t pay for themselves and most Republicans stopped claiming they did, until Mr. Trump came along.

US News:

Trump Will Cost Us–Donald Trump’s plan for creating jobs and reducing the national debt won’t make America great again.
But according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, Trump’s plan would increase our already massive national debt by $11 trillion by 2026, and increase it by 80 percent of GDP in the following decade. The Tax Foundation reaches a similar conclusion.

The Atlantic:

Donald Trump’s Economic Plans Would Destroy the U.S. Economy….Trump’s economic ideas are so haphazard that, by their own merits, they scarcely deserve to be taken seriously or considered alongside each other. But given that he has managed to become the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, the media doesn’t have a choice. Like so much of his candidacy, those ideas are a joke—one that the country is civically obligated to take seriously.


Economists savage Trump’s economic agenda–Raising tariffs and deporting millions of people will drive up prices and cause recession, experts assert.
Many economists say Donald Trump’s proposals — from big import tariffs to mass deportations — would hurt the very demographic that supports him in the greatest numbers: less educated voters struggling in a tepid U.S. economy.
If Trump policies actually went into effect, these economists say, prices for goods lower-income Americans depend on could soar and a depleted low-end labor force could trigger a major downturn.

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