As Donald Trump prepares to deliver a speech on trade and the U.S. economy, an independent watchdog group has concluded that his tax and budget plans would “massively increase” the national debt.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which analyzed the plans of all the main presidential candidates, found that Trump’s plans would add $11.5 trillion over the next 10 years, causing the debt to rise to 127 percent of the gross domestic product by 2026. The plan of his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, would also increase the national debt, but by less, adding $250 billion to the debt over a decade, bringing it to 87 percent of the GDP by 2026 -- which closely mirrors current projections.
The U.S. debt now stands at $14 trillion, or 75 percent of the GDP, the committee said, mostly due to increased spending on entitlements, including Social Security and federal health care programs. The debt is projected to grow as a share of the economy to almost 86 percent by 2026 and close to 130 percent by 2040.
The committee says it’s encouraged that both candidates talk about the need for fiscal responsibility. But, it adds, “unfortunately, to date neither former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton nor businessman Donald Trump has put forward a plan to address the national debt, and Mr. Trump’s proposals would massively increase the debt.”
Trump’s increase in debt would be mostly the result of large cuts in revenue. He has proposed cutting taxes for most Americans while maintaining spending near current levels. His most costly initiatives include a plan to overhaul the Veterans Affairs system and increase veterans’ access to private doctors, which would cost about $500 billion. And the committee says his plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and reduce illegal immigration would cost about $50 billion each.
Trump was to deliver a speech on trade Tuesday at a company in Monessen, Pennsylvania, as he and Clinton court voters in Rust Belt states. He’s made criticism of U.S. trade deals a cornerstone of his campaign and has pledged to renegotiate better deals.