“A New Foundation for American Greatness” was built on quicksand, and the president’s defenders are happy to keep shoveling it.
President Donald Trump’s newly unveiled budget contains a massive accounting error that uses the same money twice for two different purposes. Based on its supersized projections of 3 percent GDP, the president’s budget forecasts about $2 trillion in extra federal revenue growth over the next 10 years, which it then uses to pay for Trump’s “biggest tax cut in history.”
But then it also uses that very same $2 trillion to balance the budget.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney didn’t deny the math, saying it was done “on purpose,” during a press briefing Tuesday.
“I’m aware of the criticisms and would simply come back and say there’s other places where we were probably overly conservative in our accounting,” he said. “We stand by the numbers.”
“We thought that the assumption that the tax reform would be deficit-neutral was the most reasonable of the three options that we had,” he said.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, asked about the fiscal fumble during an economics conference the same day, replied, “This is a preliminary document that will be refined.”