President Donald Trump promised while running for office in 2016 that he'd eliminate the national debt if he was elected to eight years in office, and even though the 2021 budget plan released last week says it will take until 2036, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro still thinks the original promise can be met.
"We still have five more years to go, and I think we can get there," Navarro told CNN's Poppy Harlow Tuesday, adding that part of the issue is that Democrats hold the House of Representatives.
"One of the problems we faced in the short term with the Democrats holding the House is that when we made the last budget deal, that was more expenditures than we otherwise would have had."
The "trick of the budget," he added, "does not involve cutting expenditures or raising taxes, so much as growing faster. The difference between the 2% growth rate and 3% growth rate is all the difference in the world, so that's where we're focused."
Navarro also spoke out about former President Barack Obama's tweet showing his signature on the 2009 economic stimulus bill and argued with Harlow when she showed numbers from GDP growth under Obama.
"If you lived through the Obama years, which everybody watching this show did, they remember what it was like," said Navarro. "What President Obama did was double the debt from $10 trillion to $20 trillion...Obama also swelled the balance sheet of the Fed, trying to use Keynesian tools to pump up an economy which was suffering."
Harlow countered with numbers showing 4% economic growth for four quarters under Obama, telling Navarro that "we've not seen growth above 4% on a quarterly basis" under Trump.
But Navarro told Harlow that the U.S. economy was "horrible" under Obama after she asked him if he would agree that both presidents had a good economy.
"Barack Obama himself said you need a magic wand to bring half a million manufacturing jobs back. And guess what? President Trump was the magic wand because that's what he did," said Navarro.
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