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Trump economic adviser falsely claims deficit is ‘coming down rapidly’

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow spoke with reporters at the White House in Washington, Wednesday.

What Was Said

“The deficit, which was one of the other criticism, is coming down, and it’s coming down rapidly.”

Larry Kudlow, White House economic adviser, in an interview with Fox Business Network today

The Facts

False.

Kudlow observed the six-month mark of President Donald Trump’s tax cuts with an incorrect claim, saying the federal budget deficit is “rapidly” decreasing. Three sources of government data show otherwise.

An April report from the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal deficit will rise from $665 billion in fiscal year 2017, which ended on Sept. 30, to $804 billion during the 2018 fiscal year.

In an analysis published this week, the CBO said that “deficits would rise from 3.9 percent of the gross domestic product in 2018 to 9.5 percent in 2048.” According to the agency, the tax cuts add $1.27 trillion to the deficit over the next decade — even with economic growth factored in.

Additionally, the Treasury Department reported in May that the federal deficit had reached $532 billion so far in the 2018 fiscal year, up from $385 billion in April. The deficit was larger in March ($600 billion) because the government collects taxes in April. (By comparison, the deficit had reached $433 billion in May 2017 and $344 billion in April 2017.)

And the Office of Management and Budget estimated in February that the deficit will continue to rise — from $655 billion in 2017, to $833 billion in 2018, to $984 billion in 2019.

Kudlow subsequently tried to amend his remarks, telling several news outlets that he was referring to future budget deficits, which he believes will come down as a result of economic growth and investment.

Source: Congressional Budget Office, Treasury Department, Office of Management and Budget

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