Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Liberal Freakout over Trump’s Budget Reveals They Don’t Believe in America


Today, President Trump sent Congress a $4.1 trillion spending plan designed to balance the bloated federal budget over the next decade. Although presidential budgets have historically been given little weight among members of Congress, Trump’s budget still serves one important function — revealing the foolish pessimism that liberals have for America.

The administration estimates that, under its plan, the federal budget will balance over ten years as a result of spending cuts and by averaging 3 percent economic growth per year. The 3 percent economic growth projection has triggered a variety of strange commentary from liberal pundits. Here are a few noteworthy headlines:

From Slate:

Trump’s Growth Forecasts Are the Budgetary Equivalent of Putting Your Fingers in Your Ears and Yelling, “Na NaNaNaNa”

From Vice News:

Donald Trump’s budget relies on wild optimism about economic growth

And from Vox:

Donald Trump’s budget relies on magic economic growth

Magic economic growth?

Do liberals actually believe our economy is no longer capable of growing roughly one percent below what we averaged under Bill Clinton? Liberal pundits should feel entirely silly suggesting our economy can’t expand at levels still seen in our rear-view mirror. Just back the car up!

The academic term for the progressive theory that America is destined for a prolonged period of slow growth is ‘secular stagnation.’ I prefer to call this theory by its other name — groundless pessimism.

The Bush/Obama presidencies managed to combine for 1.8 percent economic growth even while giving us the kitchen sink of bad economic policy. With the right combination of monetary, tax, and regulatory reforms, does anyone really believe an additional 1.2 percent annual growth is unachievable? America is filled with the most talented and industrious individuals in the world — we are a hard bunch to keep down.

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As supply-side scholars Larry Kudlow and Stephen Moore noted:

[S]ecular stagnation is all wrong. It’s a cover up for mistaken economic policies that began in the Bush years and intensified during the Obama administration.

It would be hard to conceive of a worse set of policy prescriptions than the ones Larry Summers and his Keynesian collaborators have conjured up. We’ve had bailouts, massive spending-stimulus plans, tax increases on “the rich,” Obamacare, rudderless monetary policy that has collapsed the dollar, the Dodd-Frank bill, anti-carbon policies, a vast expansion of the welfare state, and on and on.

These measures have flat-lined the economy. It’s as simple as that. There has been no divine intervention, with God ordaining: Thou shalt only grow at 2 percent!

. . .

We learned in the 1960s and 1980s how fast the economy can get back on its feet when policy mistakes are reversed. That’s the real case for optimism.

. . .

The secular-stagnation argument is just an excuse for liberal policy failures. Keynesianism should now be recognized as snake oil.

As Trump’s budget takes center stage in the policy discussion, don’t buy into the liberals’ dreary vision for America’s future. Under the right set of policies, spectacular economic growth is just around the corner.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Jonathan Decker

Jonathan Decker is the Chief Economic Correspondent for

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