CGD in the News

One Huge Problem With Trump's Promise To Grow The U.S. Economy (NPR Goats and Soda)

May 23, 2017
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From the article:

On paper President Trump's newly unveiled budget proposal is balanced. But that's predicated on an extraordinarily rosy projection for U.S. economic growth: Trump says he expects to achieve annual increases of 3 percent — a substantial boost from the 2016 annual rate of 1.6 percent.

Such pledges were a frequent theme of Trump's campaign. And they were often coupled with the observation that countries such as China and India have been enjoying fast-paced growth for years.

But are comparisons like this meaningful? And could the U.S. realistically achieve even a 3 percent growth rate (let alone the 7 to 8 percent of China and India)?

We looked into the question last fall — after then-candidate Trump raised the issue during the Oct. 19 presidential debate.

India, and even more so China, have been growing at such impressive rates year after year for decades with almost no interruption (though China is down from its heyday of double digit increases). But the consensus among economists is that it's not possible for the U.S. economy to regularly expand at similar rates. Poor countries are always able to grow much faster than rich ones because they're starting from a lower baseline, explains Amanda Glassman of the Center for Global Development. They have "nowhere to go but up."

Read full article here.