Experts React To Trump “Talking Absolute Garbage” On The Economy At The Debate

Trump’s Economic Policy Promises Are “Magic Beanstalk Beans”

Economists and experts slammed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for pushing lies and misinformation about the state of the economy during the September 26 presidential debate.

Trump Slammed For Poor Debate Performance

Trump Was Widely Criticized By Conservative And Mainstream Media Alike For Missteps During Debate. Donald Trump was widely called out by conservative media figures and mainstream journalists for his peddling of lies and misinformation during the first presidential debate of the general election. Trump pushed a number of false claims about the economy, climate change, policing, his business background, and his long history of bigotry and misogyny, prompting repeated fact-checks from moderator and NBC News anchor Lester Holt. [Media Matters, 9/26/16, 9/27/16, 9/27/16]

Economists And Experts Dig Into Trump’s Rampant Misinformation On The Economy -- Supposedly His Strong Suit

Economist Paul Krugman: Trump “Blustered More Confidently” On Free Trade, But His Talking Points Were “Absolute Garbage.” Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman slammed Trump for “talking absolute garbage” on free trade during the debate:

Even so, it seems to be conventional wisdom that Trump did well in the first 15 minutes. And I guess he did if you are impressed by someone talking loudly and confidently about a subject he really doesn’t understand. But really: Trump on trade was ignorance all the way.


So don’t score Trump as somehow winning on trade. Yes, he blustered more confidently on that subject than on anything else. But he was talking absolute garbage even there. [The New York Times, 9/27/16]

Economist Austan Goolsbee: Trump’s Promise That Tax Cuts Will Boost Economy Are “Magic Beanstalk Beans.” During the September 27 edition of Fox News’ Happening Now, Austan Goolsbee, a University of Chicago economist, mocked Trump economic adviser Peter Navarro for promising voters “magic beanstalk beans” via tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. Goolsbee added that “if you think that low corporate taxes are what generates growth, then what do you say to the fact that the lowest corporate tax rate in the world is in Turkmenistan?”

[Fox News, Happening Now, 9/27/16]

Economist Jared Bernstein: Trump Was “Completely Wrong” When He “Lashed Out Against” Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Economist Jared Bernstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) argued that while discussions about the role the Federal Reserve plays in the American economy should not be “off limits,” Trump’s complaint that chairwoman Janet Yellen is “doing political thing[s]” to prop up the economy for the benefit of President Obama was “completely wrong.” [The Washington Post, 9/27/16]

Economist Justin Wolfers: “Basically No Serious Economist Believes That The Problem Is That The US Hasn't Struck Tough Trade Deals.” University of Michigan economist and New York Times columnist Justin Wolfers slammed Trump’s claim during the debate that the United States has not done enough to negotiate “tough trade deals.” Wolfers cited a March 2016 survey of 42 academic economists from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, in which the overwhelming majority disagreed with the claim that workers “have lost jobs in recent years” because presidential administrations “have not been tough enough in trade negotiations”:

[University of Chicago, IGM Forum, 3/22/16; Twitter, 9/26/16]

Economist Betsey Stevenson: If American Companies Are “Sick Of Selling To So Many People In China … Trump Will Help Contain Your Market.” University of Michigan economist and former Chief Economist at the Department Of Labor Betsey Stevenson mocked Trump on Twitter for suggesting that he would curtail international trade -- and possibly reduce American exports -- with China during the debate:

[Twitter, 9/26/16]

Vox’s Matt Yglesias: “Trump Doesn’t Know Anything About Trade Policy.” In a blog outlining Trump’s numerous falsehoods about the American economy, Vox’s Matt Yglesias slammed the GOP nominee for not “know[ing] anything about trade policy” despite seeming to believe international trade was “the only economic issue worth discussing”:

What’s particularly odd about this is that while Trump doesn’t know anything about trade policy and isn’t in possession of any relevant facts about American manufacturing, he seems to see trade policy as the only economic issue worth discussing. You would never know from Trump’s discourse that the vast majority of Americans work in jobs related to domestic service provision — they work in hospitals and restaurants and schools and stores working with nearby customers, not internationally traded manufacturing. [Vox, 9/26/16]

Economist Dean Baker: “Could Someone Point Out That Jobs Have Been Growing Very Rapidly Under Obama And His Regulations?” Economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) hit Trump for attacking President Obama’s record on job creation at a time when “jobs have been growing very rapidly.” Prior to the debate, CEPR published a blog outlining how job creation in the private sector has “flourished” under Democratic presidents:

[Center for Economic and Policy Research, 9/26/16; Twitter, 9/26/16]

Morning Consult’s Eli Yokley: “Trump Did Say He Would Try To Pay Less For The National Debt.” Morning Consult political reporter Eli Yokley pushed back on Trump’s assertion he had not actually said he would attempt to renegotiate America’s national debt during the debate, tweeting out that “Trump did say he would try to pay less for the national debt” linking to a May 6 New York Times article that reported on his original statement:

[PolitiFact, 9/26/16; Twitter, 9/26/16]