NPR

One Huge Problem With Trump's Promise To Grow The U.S. Economy

The president has long looked to China and India as a model for galloping economic growth. Here's why it's unlikely that the U.S. could grow even half as fast.
China has been growing faster than the U.S. for years. But it started from a much lower baseline. / Photographer - Rob Smith / Getty Images

On paper President Trump's newly unveiled budget proposal is balanced. But that's predicated on an extraordinarily rosy projection for U.S. economic growth: Trump says he expects to achieve annual increases of 3 percent — a substantial boost from the 2016 annual rate of 1.6 percent.

Such pledges were a frequent theme of Trump's campaign. And they were often coupled with the observation that countries such as China and India have been enjoying fast-paced growth for years.

But are comparisons like this meaningful? And could the U.S. realistically achieve even a 3 percent growth rate (let alone the 7 to 8 percent of China and India)?

We looked into the question last fall — after then-candidate Trump raised the issue during the Oct. 19 presidential debate.

India, and even

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