The White House laid out its case against progressive programs like “Medicare for All” and a wealth tax, while touting the projected benefits of its own economic agenda in a new report published Tuesday.
The White House Council of Economic Advisors made its case in the Economic Report of the President, which detailed the executive branch’s economic outlook for the next several years.
The White House said that 6 million workers got bonuses after Trump’s tax law. It also said venture capital deals were $17 billion higher last year than they would have been without the new law and that U.S. companies repatriated $600 billion in overseas earnings during the first three quarters of 2018.
“We demonstrate that these departures from the recent trend are not accidental but rather reflect the Trump Administration’s deliberate measures to create and maintain conditions under which the U.S. economy can achieve maximum employment, production, and purchasing power,” the report said.
White House economic projections have generally been more optimistic than consensus forecasts from independent organizations. Last week, the administration’s budget forecast continued economic growth at a rate of 3 percent or higher over the next five years. That’s far rosier than the 2.7 percent the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office forecast for this year and the 1.9 percent growth for next year. The Federal Reserve’s forecast forecast for long-run growth is also lower at about 2 percent.
White House Chief Economist Kevin Hassett defended the administration’s outlook.
“It’s our job, it’s our statutory responsibility, to assume that the president’s policies become law and show people what happens and document it,” Hassett told reporters on Monday.
The Trump administration also responded to freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s idea for a 70 percent marginal tax rate, which kicked off debate about wealth taxes. In its report, White House economists estimated that the policy would put a $531 billion dent in GDP over a decade, compared to the Congressional Budget Office’s forecast issued in January.
The administration also warned against the “Medicare for All,” a staple policy of Sen. Bernie Sanders, claiming it would actually hurt longevity and health. White House economists said if “Medicare for All” was financed exclusively by higher taxes, it would slash long-term GDP by 9 percent and after-tax income by 19 percent.
Tuesday’s report builds on the White House’s position against proposals put forth by progressives like Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders. In October, the Council of Economic Advisors issued a 72-page report titled “The Opportunity Costs of Socialism.” Hassett at the time told reporters that proposals like “Medicare for All” are “very consistent with the design of socialism.”