Economists weigh in

A famous quote from President Ronald Reagan advising his Vice President George H.W. Bush about the focus for presidential elections is “it is the economy, stupid.” From the outset of this election, Donald Trump has touted his business skills making him the best person suited to lead our economy. Yet, what is funny is he forgot to convince the economists, who support Hillary Clinton as the best guide for our economy.

In short, the economists have modeled that Trump’s economic plan would create a malaise or recession. It will also increase the debt significantly. Clinton’s economic plan has been rated neutral to positive on its economic impact and its impact on the debt is much smaller.

Per the analysis (see link below) of the non-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, this organization estimates Trump’s economic plan would increase our $19 trillion debt by $5.3 trillion, while Clinton’s would increase it by only $200 billion. Note, both are in the wrong direction, but the business man’s proposal would increase the debt by 27x more than his opponent’s plan.

It should also be noted that the National Association for Business Economics rates Clinton at 55% as the best candidate for the economy, with Trump placing third at 14%, behind Gary Johnson at 15%. This group represents working economists and not think tank economists.

Please refer to the attached article for more on the subject. As an aside, there are several investigative news pieces which note that Trump’s sales skills greatly exceed his business management skills as evidenced by six bankruptcies, 3,500 lawsuits and a host of other ill-timed ventures here and abroad. The key is we should not buy the story he is selling.

35 thoughts on “Economists weigh in

  1. Dear Keith,

    It would be a catastrophic nightmare if DT ran this country like he does his businesses. You know that the conservative deficit hawks in the US congress have knowledge of these same reports but too many are still supporting him. Where is Grover Norquist now?

    Hypocrisy is rampant, Gronda

    • Gronda, the silence is deafening. In my work with The Concord Coalition and Fix the Debt, I have learned GOP legislators become less interested when you discuss that revenue increases are needed as well as spending cuts. Dems need to hear that cuts are needed as well. It pains me that neither candidate is openly talking about the debt, and that includes Bernie, with Trump making the debt worse. Keith

    • Hugh, what interests me on the economics issue, is this is where Trump claims his superiority. Yet, I love that he comes in third behind Clinton and Johnson in the poll of business economist, with a great distance between first and second. Keith

      • It’s getting to the point where we must simply dismiss everything he says as an outright lie or distortion. He doesn’t even know what the truth looks like any more (assuming that he ever did!).

      • Hugh, being an actuary by trade, I was forced to learn more probability than I cared to. If you were a betting person and heard him speak, the odds are in your favor to bet against him telling the truth. An attorney who worked for him for years, said “Trump lies all of the time.” Keith

  2. What I love about your posts (and I’m so glad I stumbled on your blog recently!) is your ability to critically assess the situation and provide useful comment/insight. I’m not American, but so much of this election seems to be based less on facts than on feelings (which are important, don’t get me wrong, but shouldn’t be elevated above everything else) that it’s refreshing to read something that considers more factors 🙂

    • Thanks for reading and offering your comments. You are so right about facts being the victim in this election. The issue that worries me most with a Trump election is retrenching on fighting climate change, which impacts all of us. Thanks again, Keith

  3. Unfortunately, all the articles and studies written by pointy-head economists (as well as others who… you know… think logically) won’t sway DT’s rabid supporters. They much prefer magical thinking. I’ve been following Paul Krugman’s assessments of DT’s “plans.” They are concerning to put it mildly.

    • Janis, I don’t think we can reach the more loyal followers, but there are still some who are not 100% sold on the man. The reason I used the NABE group is these are the working economists not the think-tankers. This is supposed to be his sweet spot, but he falls short. Keith

      • Agreed. So, here are my suggestions for more rational voices to consider, when in those kinds of conversations. This will get some thinking, what I have missed?

        First, when people here about DT, just say “you know you can set aside all of his inane and racist comments he has said since he announced his campaign. Just look at his history and how he made his money and treated people along the way.

        Second, when you hear “he is a businessman and is best for the economy.” The response is “You know that is interesting, but the economists seem to think Hillary is best suited and, in fact, Trump’s plan will drive up our debt in huge way, while hers won’t. Plus, his history as a businessman is not as good as he contends.

  4. On a loosely related note, does anybody truly believe that Trump would turn over the day-to-day business of his companies and not have his thumb in them? I do not, and in fact, I wonder if he wouldn’t a) be too busy handling his own business to handle the nation’s, and b) be constantly looking for ways to make money for Trump Inc. from the U.S. government/people?

    • Jill, that was a key premise of the Newsweek article. Even if he did, there would be conflicts of interest. Plus, he carries around information in his head. But, the article notes he has dealt with some nefarious characters and has ticked off some rulers, like President Erdogan of Turkey who said if Trump wins he would deny access to the air fields. Keith

      • Yes, the reaction to Trump on the other side of the globe are not in his favour. The only ones who have praised him are the autocrats … Putin (who really doesn’t like him, I think, but is not beneath using him for his own ends), Kim Jong-un, etc. Heck, the UK tried to have him banned from their country!

      • Jill, true. Remember the poll of people living in G20 countries several months back? 19 countries favored Clinton, with only Russia favoring Trump. It was a sidebar in the debate, but for the second time (the first was with Matt Lauer) he defended Russia disagreeing with our intelligence community that they were responsible for the DNC hack. This time he said it could have been a 400 pound man that did it. Why does he do that? Keith

      • Yes, I do remember that … there is no doubt that very few world leaders would like to see him in the White House. Funny how Donald always mocks people who are overweight, yet he himself is a pudgster!

      • There was a Wall Street Journal reporter on CBS This Morning today. She was asked about his not letting the Miss Universe winner issue die. She said in our country you cannot call someone fat. He needs to stop explaining himself and let it go away. He tweeted two more things this morning.

      • Yes, I saw that he was a busy beaver on Twitter this morning! Ranting against both Alicia Machado and the news outlets who are either endorsing Clinton or warning against voting for Trump. His mentality is that of a 5 year old! How in the …. oh never mind … we all keep asking the question and I guess we know the answer, but it still just blows my mind!

      • Jill, what interests me is how men react to him. Here is a guy who consistently says everyone cheated and is out to get him when he loses. Per his comments, he does not lose, it was rigged against him. As a man who competed in team sports through high school, my question is would a teammate tolerate for very long this kind of behavior, without saying “shut up and just play.” Keith

      • The theory I am hearing more and more these days is that white males feel they are being cheated and mistreated, so perhaps they feel they have something in common with Trump? He is certainly not a team player, but then, neither, I think, are his lemmings. They seem to be a rather selfish bunch.

      • Jill, the only thing they have in common with Trump is he is a white male. His history shows that he is the one taking advantage of a rigged system and often is a puppeteer of it. There is a good article by a family run piano business that got stiffed by Trump, because his casino was making less money. No negotiation – Trump said he would pay him 70 cents on the dollar and the guy could not afford to sue him. Per an attorney that worked with him, he did this quite often. If you did due him, he would countersue.

      • I know, but those “white males” do not pay any attention to the handwriting on the wall. Perhaps they cannot read it, or perhaps they simply will not read it.

      • Jill, if you are a sports fan, it is not unlike the Southeastern Conference sports teams in the 1960s and early 1970s, who did not want to integrate. Two events changed the course of history. An all white Kentucky basketball team was easily defeated by an interracial Texas Western team for the NCAA basketball title. The second was when legendary football Coach Bear Bryant of Alabama invited an interracial team from Univ of Southern California. USC trounced the all white Alabama team and Bryant thanked the opposing coach for showing his fans the future.

  5. Note to Readers: Here is a link and a quote from UK based Oxford Economics where I gleaned some of the above.

    “Donald Trump’s agenda risks putting the U.S. economy in recession while Hillary Clinton’s plans would have a modest positive impact, a new analysis shows. Oxford Economics, a forecasting firm, put the two candidates’ proposals side by side and analyzed them. Its conclusion: Clinton would be better for the economy.”

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