NEW YORK CITY: Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump laid out an aggressive economic vision on Thursday (Friday in Manila), setting an ambitious goal of four percent growth and knocking rival Hillary Clinton for offering Americans nothing but a “welfare check.”
Trump shifted between an aspirational tone — he said his plan will lead to the creation of 25 million new jobs over 10 years — and cynicism about the current state of US economic policy as he addressed the Economic Club of New York.
He also charged that the US Federal Reserve was being “totally controlled politically” to keep interest rates low, and that stocks were “artificially” high.
“I think you’re going to have low interest rates until the end of the year, maybe no increase at all, and the market will stay artificially high, and then we’re going to have to see what happens after that,” he said.
Trump expanded on a plan he announced six weeks ago, when he called for slashing taxes, undoing onerous financial regulations and expanding the energy sector.
“If we lower our taxes, remove destructive regulations, unleash the vast treasure of American energy, and negotiate trade deals that put America first, then there is no limit to the number of jobs we can create and the amount of prosperity we can unleash,” Trump said Thursday.
Under Clinton, he said, the country would slide into “a future of slow growth, declining incomes and dwindling prosperity,” with increasing numbers of Americans dependent on government aid.
“The only thing she can ever offer is a welfare check.”
Trump’s own vision forecasts 3.5 percent annual economic growth over a decade but he expressed optimism for more.
“It’s time to establish a national goal of four percent annual growth,” he said.
When Trump’s primary rival Jeb Bush pledged four percent growth, many economists described it as ambitious and even unrealistic for a sustained period.
“It’s the same Donald Trump with generalization and no numbers,” economist Robert Reich, who served as labor secretary under president Bill Clinton, told CNBC.
Trump also talked tough on countries like China, branding the Asian giant a currency manipulator at the “grand master level” and saying the US could create two million jobs if it enforced intellectual property laws there.