Lying Without Consequence: “Trump’s top economic adviser says deficit ‘is coming down rapidly,’ contradicting virtually all available data”

by Bob Schwartz

Diogenes Searching for an Honest Man in the Trump Administration


Lying is Trump’s practice and the policy of his administration, even about the most significant public questions. But that is the not biggest issue.

The biggest issue is that there is no consequence for the lies. When the nation’s top economist completely misrepresents the state of the economy—in spite of all evidence to the contrary—nothing happens to him. Or to his boss. In fact, it seems that the best qualification for a job in the administration—and for keeping on Trump’s good side—is to be the biggest possible liar.

Washington Post:

President Trump’s top economic adviser said Friday that the federal deficit is “coming down rapidly,” contradicting estimates by nonpartisan analysts, Congress’s official scorekeeper and a branch of the White House.

Larry Kudlow, director of the White House’s National Economic Council, said on Fox Business that stronger economic growth was creating enough new tax revenue to bring down the deficit.

“The deficit — which was one of the other criticisms [of the GOP tax law] — is coming down, and it’s coming down rapidly,” Kudlow said. “It’s throwing up enormous amounts of new tax revenue.”

@larry_kudlow: “The deficit… is coming down, and it’s coming down rapidly. Growth solves a lot of problems.”
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) June 29, 2018

It’s hard to know where Kudlow is getting his numbers. The deficit from January through April was $161 billion, according to Treasury, up from $135 billion at the same point last year. And it will deteriorate further from here, since the Treasury collects a large amount of tax revenue during April when taxes are due for most Americans….

Commenting specifically on the 2017 tax law, the CBO said it would increase deficits by $1.27 trillion over the next decade, even when including the positive effects of the law on the economy.  Annual deficits require the government to borrow money to finance its operations, adding debt. The CBO estimates that the amount of debt the United States will have in a decade will equal almost the total size of the economy.

Official White House data suggest deficits are increasing, too. The White House’s Office of Management and Budget says the deficit is rising from $665 billion in 2017 to $832 billion in 2018, and will approach $1 trillion annually in 2019.

“Deficits are not going down. They are going up,” said Marc Goldwein, senior vice president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan think tank that advocates for budget discipline.