Recent polls show that voters trust Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump with the economy more than Hillary Clinton. Trump, a businessman and former reality TV star, has appealed to disenfranchised conservatives by projecting bravado and big promises.
His slogan is an obvious link to a time when more Americans made good livings manufacturing cars, textiles appliances and other household items. “Make America Great Again,” Trump often says on a campaign trail, has helped him win the most number of votes for a Republican candidate in a primary election, and has also helped him sell plenty of caps.
On Thursday, Trump revised some of his economic policies. Here’s how he plans on delivering on that campaign slogan.
What He Promises
Trump is pushing for $4.4 trillion in tax cuts and believes he will vastly accelerate economic growth.
He pledged this week that his proposals would boost the U.S. economy's growth to a rate of four percent a year, a goal that last was achieved in the 1990s under former President Bill Clinton.
“I think we can do better than that,” Trump said of his four-percent goal at the Economic Club of New York on Thursday, noting that economists didn’t want him to promise any more than four percent.
How He Says He’s Going To Do It
Trump says that he has a lot of regulatory and trade reform ideas in mind.
First, his plan is to pause any new regulation going forward until a review of previous ones can be performed, according to his website. He says he’ll scrap anything he sees as unnecessary or is hurting businesses. He has a couple regulations in mind to cut already: The Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and the Department of Interior’s moratorium on coal mining permits, for instance.
Two other major aspects of his economic policies are trade reform and energy reform. Broadly, Trump wants to raise tariffs against other countries he says are "cheating" (like China) and plans on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). As for energy, Trump says he can boost economic output by $700 billion a year by lifting coal and natural gas restrictions.
Can He Do It?
Obviously, since the economy had that rate of growth before, it is theoretically possible. Economists, however, have been rather skeptical.
Oxford Economics, a British forecasting firm, says that Trump’s proposals (all together, including his economic, tax, and immigration policies) would actually cut $1 trillion from the economy. That’s a bigger hit than during the Great Recession in 2008.
Trump wouldn’t be inheriting the same sort of economic climate that Clinton had, either. The 1990s experienced economic growth at a rate that is very rare. Pushed by a technological revolution with the widespread adoption of personal computers and the internet, the U.S. enjoyed long and sustained economic growth.
That type of turnaround doesn’t happen often. There have only been three instances since World War II of four or more consecutive years of four percent economic growth.