The 2017 tax cuts produced only a brief sugar high for the economy. America can’t afford Round 2:
The Editorial Board USA TODAY
November 7, 2019
In 2017, trying to sell Congress on a $1.5 trillion package of tax cuts, President Donald Trump made some pretty Trumpian predictions.
“The economy now is at 3% (growth),” he said. “Nobody thought it would be anywhere close. I think it could go to 4, 5 and maybe even 6%, ultimately.”
In fact, the economic growth rate that year was not 3% but 2.4%. And with Trump’s sweeping, massive, transformative, awesome, really huge tax cuts, the growth rate in 2018 surged all the way up to — drumroll, please — 2.9%.
That’s right, half a percentage point, and even that uptick was short-lived. Most projections for this year have it back below where it was before enactment of the tax cuts. Next year’s projections range from 2% to outright recession.
Deficit hits $984 billion
But the tax cuts, along with some bipartisan spending in the Trump era, have moved the needle in one significant way: They have caused federal borrowing to skyrocket. The Treasury Department has reported that for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, the government spent $984 billion more than it collected. That’s an astoundingly large deficit at a time of record low unemployment, and a deeply troubling one to boot.
The 2019 deficit was more than double what it was in 2015 and up from $160 billion in 2007, before the Great Recession.