Trump Is Cooking The Books On Economic Data

Donald Trump’s trickle down economic plan will not fix the economy. So instead, he’s just cheating and manipulating the data to match up with his boasts of miracles.


Trump has made a lot of big promises to boost the economy. But instead of coming up with legitimate policy…not just “It’ll be great!” “I have a tremendous plan!”….instead he’s ordering his team to fudge the numbers to match up with his promises, completely ignoring reality.

Just like Presidents before him, Trump is working on his economic growth forecast as part of his budget planning. It’s normal for Presidents to try to make the numbers look as good as possible. But sources are telling the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post that the Trump administration is taking it to a whole new level.

Sources who have worked on the budget process in previous administrations say they’ve never seen anything like this.

According to the Post,

“As the Wall Street Journal first reported (and as I’ve independently confirmed through my own sources), the Trump transition team instead ordered CEA [Council of Economic Advisers] staffers to predict sustained economic growth of 3 to 3.5 percent. The staffers were then directed to backfill all the other numbers in their models to produce these growth rates.”

This is definitely not the way it’s usually done. Normally administrations start with a baseline forecast. And then they calculate how their policies would either increase or decrease the growth rate.

Trump, on the other hand, is starting with his end goal and then cheating the numbers to make them fit his agenda.

The Post reports,

“Inflation-adjusted economic growth over the past decade has been under 2 percent. And independent projections for the coming decade are equally lackluster, thanks in part to population aging. The Federal Reserve, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and private forecasters predict about 1.8 to 1.9 percent annual growth.”

In other words, Trump is continuing to make false promises that will never pan out. His boasts of massive economic growth are lies. Even the most conservative economists aren’t buying what Trump’s selling.

Think Progress adds,

“The economy’s rate of growth is not the only place where the Trump team is reportedly thinking of fudging the numbers. The Journal also reports that the administration has asked career economists to make a change in the way the trade deficit is calculated. The new method means no longer counting as exports anything that’s imported to the country and then sold to another country. For example, a car that was sold to a company in the U.S. from Mexico and then re-sold by that company to one in Canada would only be counted as an import and not as an export when it left, thus inflating the overall trade deficit.”

Trump inflates and blatantly lies about many economic indicators. He spent his entire campaign insisting that the unemployment rate was really 42%. Back here in the real world unemployment is below 5%. But like with so many other facts that Trump doesn’t like, he calls these numbers a “hoax” and “fake news.”

The Post explains the problem with that.

“Of course, there are also risks to overpromising on growth — or on jobs, deficits, health-care affordability, trade or any other front on which Trump has pledged to repeal the laws of economics. That is, voters might remember your promises and punish you when you don’t deliver. Maybe Team Trump is counting on being able to backfill voter memories, too.”

 

 

 

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