Fiscal Fridays: Trump Discusses Deficit, Taxes and Entitlements

Author: Steve Winn
Share this page

In the latest Fiscal Fridays interview, Republican front-runner Donald Trump said that as president he would cut taxes on businesses and the middle class, maintain current Social Security and Medicare benefits, and yet still balance the federal budget in short order.

To accomplish all that, Trump said Tuesday, he would rely heavily on stronger economic growth that he predicts will result from the proposed tax cuts and his efforts to “bring jobs back” from countries like China, Japan and Mexico.

Speaking mostly in general terms, Trump also promised to “freeze the budget” immediately, do away with most of the Education Department, shift most environmental protection responsibilities to the states, and mount a “tremendous” attack on waste, fraud and abuse throughout the federal government.

At the same time, Trump vowed that he would make no structural changes in Social Security and Medicare — despite warnings of insolvency from the programs’ trustees. Trump said costs could be lowered through better management that would eliminate the “tremendous” waste, fraud and abuse in both programs. He did not offer any estimates of how much this would save.

While he spoke in vague terms on many of his proposals, Trump indicated his tax cuts would be extremely generous: “My tax plan . . . is going to lower taxes, big league, for the middle class . . . It’s also going to lower taxes, big league, for corporations and for small companies, anybody doing business.”

Many tax-cut plans assume a positive effect on economic growth, although experts on the budget often warn against relying on overly optimistic growth forecasts. Trump insisted that his growth expectations are realistic: “The plan that I have is going to make our economy dynamic again.”

The Fiscal Fridays series provides voters with in-depth information about presidential candidates’ fiscal and economic plans. First Budget — an initiative of The Concord Coalition and Fix the Debt — is co-sponsoring the series with NH1 News Network, the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire, and the Warren B. Rudman Center.

External links:
Fiscal Fridays Trump Interview
Videos of Previous Fiscal Friday Interviews

Share this page

Related Issue Briefs