Business Report: The Trump budget $2 trillion error

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Trump administration just released its proposed budget for the upcoming year, but it includes a huge mistake. It claims the Trump tax cut will stimulate the economy so much it raises $2 trillion, enough to pay for itself. But the same money is also used for $2 trillion in additional spending, so it's double-counted.

Even as I was discussing it, I thought to myself, there is no way budget director Mike Mulvaney is going to say, "I made a colossal mistake in arithmetic, sorry, my bad." I thought, he's got no choice. He's got to pretend he meant it.

Well, sure enough Mulvaney says, he did it, quote, "on purpose." Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summer calls it "the most egregious accounting error in a presidential budget in the nearly 40 years I've been tracking them." The only reason it's not getting more attention is, Congress makes its own budgetary decisions, so any budget from any president is more of a suggestion than anything.

Postscript: yesterday I referred to the $2 trillion mistake as $2 billion. A mistake about the mistake. And only one viewer noticed and said something.

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