Remember 3% Growth? It’s Now Down the Memory Hole.

President Trump’s illustrious Council of Economic Advisers issued its annual report today. But you have to go to page 527 to find the straight dope:

As illustrated in figure 10-16…the Administration anticipates economic growth to remain at or above 3.0 percent through 2023, assuming full implementation of the economic agenda detailed in this Report and its predecessor. We expect near-term growth to be supported by the continuing effects of the TCJA, discussed in chapter 1, as well as new measures to promote increased labor force participation and deregulatory actions, discussed in chapters 3 and 2, and an infrastructure program, discussed in chapter 4 of the 2018 Economic Report of the President, which we assume will commence in 2019 with observable effects on output beginning in 2020.

Hmmm. Let’s take a look at figure 10-16, shall we?

For now, ignore the fact that GDP growth in 2018 was 2.9 percent, not 3.1 percent, if you measure it the way everyone else does. Instead, concentrate your attention on the red line, which projects real GDP growth under “current law.” It shows GDP growth of only 2.6 percent by 2021, declining to barely overy 2 percent by 2026. What happened to 3 percent growth?

Funny thing about that. It turns out that Trump’s advisers have a new story for us: We could have 3 percent growth, but only if we pass a new tax cut and a big infrastructure bill and a bunch of deregulation of big business and some new labor policies. Oh, and all this stuff has to be passed in the next nine months. If it’s not, then economic growth will plummet and it will all be the fault of Democrats.

I’m glad we finally got that straight. So here’s my projection: GDP growth this year and next will clock in at around 2 percent if we’re lucky, and none of Trump’s fantasies about infrastructure or taxes or anything else will have any effect on that. We’ve already gotten one tax cut for the rich, and it appears to have produced a small bump in 2018 growth and then petered out. Everyone knows it will have no further effect, even if the fantasist-in-chief insists otherwise.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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