Love him or hate him, Donald Trump is generally upbeat about America. His campaign’s slogan is “Making America Great Again.” Yet, in an interview with the Washington Post Trump predicts that the “country is headed for a massive recession.” It became clear in the interview that Trump is less than sanguine about economy and see trouble ahead. He’s not the first to predict it.
Obama has nearly doubled the national debt to $19 trillion and by the time he leaves office he and his administration will likely have racked up more government debt than all previous presidents combined. Some economists and financial analysts have been sound the alarm for years. No one has listened. Trump has taken up their cause as one of the themes of his campaign. He has publicly warned that the stock market is overvalued for months, but got into more detail:
“’I think we’re sitting on an economic bubble. A financial bubble,’” Trump said. He made clear that he was not specifying a sector of the economy but the economy at large and asserted that more bullish forecasts were based on skewed employment numbers and an inflated stock market.
‘First of all, we’re not at 5 percent unemployment. We’re at a number that’s probably into the twenties if you look at the real number,’ Trump said. ‘That was a number that was devised, statistically devised to make politicians — and, in particular, presidents — look good. And I wouldn’t be getting the kind of massive crowds that I’m getting if the number was a real number.’”
Trump Says He’ll Pay Off The National Debt
But Trump also sounded a more optimistic note – on the condition that he becomes President. He claimed in the interview that he would pay off the $19 trillion debt “over a period of 8 years.” Meaning, he will need 2 terms to accomplish the task. That is a bold assertion even for Donald Trump considering the enormous size of the debt.
“Most economists would consider this impossible because it could require taking more than $2 trillion a year out of the annual $4 trillion budget to pay off holders of the debt.
Trump vehemently disagrees: “I’m renegotiating all of our deals, the big trade deals that we’re doing so badly on. With China, $505 billion this year in trade.” He said that economic growth he foresees as a consequence of renegotiated deals would enable the United States to pay down the debt — although many economists have said the exact opposite, that a trade war would be crippling to the U.S. economy.”
Trump’s explanation will animate his critics who will call it exaggeration on a, well, Trumpian, scale. His supporters are likely to acknowledge the goal is unlikely to be achieved, chalk it up to campaign hyperbole, and say that at least someone running for President is talking about paying off the debt. And that partially explains the divide ripping apart the Republican Party.
The Anti-Trump faction believes that Trump is a know-nothing blowhard who would be Caesar if he could while the 35%-40% of the Party that supports Trump think everyone running is a blowhard and at least Trump is willing to say things that need to be said. It’s a rupture that’s been a longtime coming – let’s hope that both sides remember before it’s too late that Hillary must be defeated in November.