Republican nominee for president Donald Trump speaks at the Economic Club of New York Luncheon in New York City on Thursday. Trump pledged 3.5 percent economic growth if elected. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
NEW YORK, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Donald Trump laid out an ambitious economic plan in a speech in New York on Thursday, targeting growth near 4 percent, a boom he said would create 25 million new jobs.
Trump predicted at least 3.5 percent annual growth in the gross domestic product if he is elected but suggested the number would go even higher. He pledged to set a "national goal" of 4 percent GDP growth, which, combined with a reduction in federal spending, could wipe out the national debt in a decade, he said.
"My great economists don't want me to say this but I think we can do better than that ... and maybe substantially better than that," he said, of the 4 percent growth target.
In an address to the Economic Club of New York, Trump rehashed his plan to reduce taxes on all earners and sharply reduce the nation's corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent. Trump has also called for reducing the number of income tax brackets from seven to three, while also increasing the minimum amount individuals have to make to be required to pay any income tax at all. His plan to make childcare costs tax deductible would further reduce the tax burden for working- and middle-class parents, he said.
Trump said his plan would "unleash" the U.S. economy and the resulting vast economic growth would, over the course of a decade, eliminate the national debt if also combined with a 1 percent cut in non-defense discretionary spending. Included in Trump's figure is more than $6 trillion of the debt he said would be wiped away by increased tax revenue generated by the economic growth he predicted.
Trump also cited other key factors in his plan to grow the economy and reduce the debt: Renegotiating free trade agreements with Mexico, China and other nations he said are taking advantage of lax enforcement by the World Trade Organization. The result, Trump said, would be manufacturing -- from raw goods like steel to finished products like automobiles -- that have moved overseas returning to U.S. soil.
"America's annual trade deficit is now $800 billion a year. Between World War I and 2000, the U.S. averaged a 3.5 percent growth rate," Trump said. "After China joined the World Trade Organization, our annual growth rate has been reduced to only 2 percent."
He also called for the reversal of an Obama administration policy effectively outlawing coal-fired power plants by sharply reducing the amount of pollution factories can emit, which he said would lower electricity costs and revive the economy in hard-hit coal country.
Before a largely friendly audience of business leaders, Trump also offered a harsh critique of government control of businesses.
"One of the keys to unlocking growth is scaling back years of out-of-control regulations. The regulation industry is one business I will absolutely put to an end, day one," Trump said to applause.
Trump said the policies enacted by President Barack Obama have made it tougher for millions of workers who have seen wages stagnate.
"You have workers making less in real wages than they were 18 years ago. They're working harder, they're older and they're making less," Trump said.