Trump’s Commitment to Reduce US Debt

What is President’s Trump’s Commitment to Reduce the Debt? The answer may depend on day of the week it is and to who he is talking?

Trump Tells O’Reilly Cutting Debt Will Be Easy

Trump's Committment to Teen on Debt

Candidate Trump told the Washington Post, high school children and others along the campaign trail that he will eliminate the $20 Trillion National in eight years. He also said he would renegotiate the Debt. Now that he is President he’s not concerned about the Debt.

1. Eliminate The Debt in 8 Years


a) Bloomberg Business –  Trump Promised to Eliminate National Debt in Eight Years. Good Luck With That His administration plans to balance the budget with what he says will be huge gains in economic growth

By Peter Coy March 9, 2017, 3:00 AM MST

Last April, lunching amid construction debris at his new hotel five blocks from the White House, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told the Washington Post he would get rid of the national debt “over a period of eight years.” It may have been the boldest promise he’s ever made, considering the U.S. hasn’t been debt-free since 1835. The debt at the time was more than $19 trillion, and rising. Trump predicted he could turn back the tide even though he thought the country was headed for a “very massive recession.”

Now that he’s in the White House (and his hotel is open), he has a chance to make good on his commitment to wipe the slate clean. But there’s little evidence to date he’ll even make a serious stab at debt reduction. The real question is how much the debt will increase during his term—or terms—in office. Based on what we know of his tax and spending goals, it appears likely to grow even faster under Trump than it was projected to rise before he took office.

Trump wants to slash personal and corporate income taxes, eliminate Obamacare levies, raise defense spending, build a border wall, renew infrastructure, and protect Social Security and Medicare from cuts. The cuts he does want—at the Environmental Protection Agency, for example—won’t save much money. “President Trump is inheriting a really bad situation. But to make the situation worse … the only justification is we don’t want to do the hard work of real budgeting,” says Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget……….

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b) Donald Trump tells teens at a New Hampshire Convention that he’ll eliminate the $19 Trillion in National Debt in Eight Years.

Published on Oct 12, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was pressured to give more details on what he would do to cut the deficit and the national debt at a convention in New Hampshire. – LoneWolf & The Three Muskadoggies(◑_◑)


2) Renegotiate The Debt


Donald Trump’s Idea to Cut National Debt: Get Creditors to Accept Less

By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM MAY 6, 2016, New York Times

After assuring Americans he is not running for president “to make things unstable for the country,” the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump, suggested that he might reduce the national debt by persuading creditors to accept something less than full payment.

Asked on Thursday whether the United States needed to pay its debts in full, or whether he could negotiate a partial repayment, Mr. Trump told the cable network CNBC, “I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal.”

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b) A closer look at Donald Trump’s comments about refinancing U.S. debt

By Louis Jacobson on Monday, May 16th, 2016 at 10:20 a.m. Politifact

Donald Trump discussed his views on handle the government’s debt obligations in a May 5, 2016, interview on CNBC. We took a closer look at what he said.

During a pair of recent interviews, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump made waves by suggesting that he might try to refinance the U.S. federal debt.

The comments prompted both confusion about what Trump was actually proposing and alarm at what might happen if he actually followed through on his idea.

Given the concerns about his remarks, we decided to check with a range of experts on government debt. We wanted to see if they could, first, explain and, second, critique what Trump had said in the interviews. Here’s what we found. (Trump’s campaign did not respond to an inquiry for this story.)

Recapping what Trump said

Trump’s initial remarks came in an interview with CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin and Becky Quick on May 5, 2016.

Sorkin: “Mr. Trump, you talk about debt. And you are to some degree the king of debt. I appreciate that point. You have also renegotiated debt agreements over the years. Do you believe that we, in terms of the United States, need to pay a hundred cents on the dollar, or do you think that there’s actually ways that we can renegotiate that debt?”

Trump: “Yeah, I think — look. I have borrowed, knowing that you can pay back with discounts. And I have done very well with debt. Now, of course, I was swashbuckling, and it did well for me and it was good for me and all that. And you know, debt was sort of always interesting to me. Now we’re in a different situation with the country. But I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal. And if the economy was good, it was good. So, therefore, you can’t lose. It’s like, you know, you make a deal before you go into a poker game, and your odds are so much better.” …

Quick: “I understand that you’ve done this in business deals, but are you suggesting we would negotiate with the U.S. credit in such a way?”

Trump: “No, I think this. I think there are times for us to refinance. We refinance debt with longer term. Because you know, we owe so much money. … I could see long-term renegotiations, where we borrow long-term at very low rates.” …

Quick: “But let’s be clear. I mean, you’re not talking about renegotiating sovereign bonds that the U.S. has already issued?”

Trump: “No. I don’t want to renegotiate the bonds. But I think you can do discounting, I think, you know, depending on where interest rates are, I think you can buy back. You can — I’m not talking about with a renegotiation, but you can buy back at discounts, you can do things with discounts. … I would refinance debt. I think we should refinance longer-term debt.”

The second comments came in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, on May 10, 2016…

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3) Print More Money


Donald Trump: U.S. will ‘never have to default’ on debt because we can always print more money

Donald Trump: ‘I’m the king of debt.’

BY ADAM EDELMAN, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, Monday, May 9, 2016, 4:15 PM

The candidate with the inflated ego has apparently never heard of inflation.

In an eye-brow raising interview Monday, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump claimed the U.S. won’t ever default on its debt because it can always print more money.

“This is the United States government. First of all, you never have to default because you print the money,” Trump said on CNN’s “New Day. “I hate to tell you. So there’s never a default.”


Increasing the money supply is known to reduce the value of the money itself and contribute to a rise in prices for consumer good — an outcome known as inflation.

Trump made the comment as he hit the media for allegedly misrepresenting earlier remarks he made about the national debt.


“People said I want to go and buy debt and default on debt — these people are crazy,” he said. “I said if we can buy back government debt as a discount. In other words, if interest rates go up and we can buy bonds back as a discount, if we are liquid enough as a country we should do that. In other words, we can buy back debt as a discount.”

4) Increase the National Debt


One Thing To Expect From President Trump: More Debt And Deficit

David Davenport, contributor Fortune

Living in the academic world, I have taken up peer therapy with anguished colleagues over the election of Donald Trump.  My standard refrain is to wait and see what he actually does because his words have run in too many different directions.  Build a wall?  We’re not really sure.   Kill Obamacare dead in its tracks?  Maybe, maybe not.  We just have to see.

But one thing seems fairly certain:  a Donald Trump presidency is likely to have little regard for decreasing the national debt (the cumulative amount owed by the federal government) or the annual budget deficit.  Some of us are shocked that the national debt has nearly doubled (from roughly $10 trillion to nearly $20 trillion) on President Obama’s watch, but that number will likely grow under President Trump, perhaps even on a similar scale.

Why do I say this?  First, consider what Trump himself had to say on the subject during the campaign:  “I’m the king of debt; I understand debt probably better than anybody.  I know how to deal with debt very well.  I love debt.”  I guess that’s one approach to a growing federal debt:  hire the self-proclaimed “king of debt” to oversee it.  His other campaign comment was that if we started to get into real trouble because of our debt, he would go to other countries and renegotiate our debt, persuading them to take less than we owe.  Good luck with that.

Beyond Trump’s rhetoric, two of his key economic programs are also likely to grow the budget deficit, not shrink it.  He seems bound and determined to cut taxes, and the Republicans in Congress largely agree with him.  And everyone—Republicans and Democrats alike—are ready to jump on the infrastructure bandwagon, spending upwards of $1 trillion in the coming decade to, as he said in his victory speech, “fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals” so that our infrastructure “will become second to none.”  Reduce revenue by cutting taxes and increase spending on infrastructure—even I can do the math on that.

But under Trump the supply-siders are coming back, arguing that all this will grow our way out of economic difficulty.  But let’s be realistic:  if we’re at 1-2% growth today, even doubling the rate of economic growth only takes us to 3% or maybe at the outside 4%.  The numbers don’t add up.  Moody’s Analytics estimates his infrastructure plan would add just 0.4% in growth.  The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimated that his tax cuts will raise the federal debt by $7.2 trillion over the next decade and the Congressional Budget Office sees the annual tab for interest on the debt doubling between now and 2020.

In some ways, this is scarier than the Reagan supply-side years.  President Reagan achieved a meaningful reduction in taxes, but the Democrats who controlled the House of Representatives prevented a comparable reduction in federal spending.  This time, however, the Republicans control all the branches of government and seem ready to cut taxes and increase spending, especially on infrastructure.

One underlying question is whether Americans really care about government debt anymore.  In several polls leading up to the election, concern about the federal debt ran well behind jobs, healthcare, education and terrorism (all expensive propositions by the way).  Seemingly gone is the day when we worry, as President Calvin Coolidge did following World War I, about “carelessness” in the “expenditure of public money” as a “condition characteristic of undeveloped people, or of a decadent generation.”  We no longer vote as if we are concerned about transferring the costs of our generation to a future one.  We no longer view debt as a moral concern; rather it is just one more tool of economic policy to deploy when we want more growth.

I know this sounds positively premodern, but I still share the concern of President Herbert Hoover when he said:  “Blessed are the young for they shall inherit the national debt.”  And I would submit that the one thing President Trump and the Congress could do to begin to rebalance the scale would be to address the runaway deficit in our entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare and the like).  Progress there could compensate for some of their other grandiose spending plans.

Fortune 11/30/16