Something changed in 2007, says Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney in his introduction to “MAGAnomics,” a play on “Make America Great Again,” in the Wall Street Journal last week. Before 2007, the modern American economy grew at roughly 3.5%, but since has hardly topped 2%. He claims that President Donald Trump, harkening back to Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, will restore 3% growth with an agenda designed for “those who left for work this morning in the dark and came home after their kids were asleep.”
Nice try. First, growth and good jobs have been challenged in many parts of the country as early as 2001 (and for some, even longer). During the 2001–2007 cycle, for example, GDP grew at 2.4%, compared to an average of 3.3% across previous cycles since 1948. This weak expansion, coinciding with George W. Bush’s implementation of an upper income tax cut, suggests that Trump’s personal income tax cut is unlikely to stimulate the rate of growth Mulvaney claims.This article was originally published in Fortune.