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Disappointing GDP Numbers Should Get People Asking: What Happened To Trump’s Promise of 5 Percent Growth?

In December of 2017, as he was promoting passage in Congress of his enormous corporate tax cuts package (from 35 percent to 21 percent), President Donald Trump made a prediction that the bill, if it became law, would result in huge GDP gains.

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“I think it could go to 4, 5, and maybe even 6 percent, ultimately…We are back. We are really going to start to rock,” Trump said at the time, according to reporting from RealClearPolitics.

But economic numbers have not reached those levels, to say the least.

In fact, 2019’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth was only 2.3 percent, the slowest rate since 2016, and a 20 percent slowdown compared with 2018’s numbers, Reuters reported, and significantly lower than the administration’s prediction of 3 percent growth that was made at the start of the year.

What caused the slowdown? Fears of recession from a trade war with China helped to stunt growth in the U.S. over the past year. The trade war began 18 months ago, and at the time Trump said it would be easy to win — however, there’s no end in sight at the present moment.

Trump’s tax cuts haven’t done much good for the economy overall, unless you are a corporation or the head of one. And in terms of GDP growth, four of the last five quarters have been the worst seen since Trump took office — something that, by the president’s account in 2017, shouldn’t have happened due to his tax plan.

Meanwhile, due to increases in spending and cuts in revenues, the Congressional Budget Office expects the U.S. deficit to grow, by as much as $1.02 trillion over the course of the current year, the Washington Post reported earlier this week.

It would be the first time since 2012 that the deficit could go over $1 trillion. In 2019, the deficit nearly breached that number, increasing by $984 billion.