Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers trashed President Trumpâs budget calling it the âleast honestâ and most âincompetentâ proposal heâs seen in several decades.
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âTheir value judgments about the poorâI donât agree about those value judgments, but they were elected and have a right to make their value judgments. There are optimistic economic forecasts. Theyâre further away from the professional consensuses than any administration in more than a generation. That doesnât seem like the best bet, but theyâre entitled to their opinion. But theyâre not entitled to violate the laws of arithmetic and logic,â Summers told FOX Businessâ Maria Bartiromo.
In a Washington Post op-ed, Summers, who served as Treasury Secretary under President Clinton and director of the National Economic Council under President Obama, said the White Houseâs budget proposal is filled with âludicrously optimistic economic assumptions.â
âApparently, the budget forecasts that U.S. economic growth will rise to 3 percent because of the administrationâs policies â largely its tax cuts and perhaps also its regulatory policies. Fair enough if you believe in tooth fairies and ludicrous supply-side economics,â Summers wrote.
The Trump administrationâs $4.1 trillion budget request for fiscal year 2018 calls for a reduction to the spending growth of several programs that Democrats say deprive some of the nationâs poor of key services. However, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney disputes any suggestion that the budget will not will take care of people in need.
"We're not kicking anyone off of any program who really needs it," Mulvaney said at a press briefing Tuesday. "We have plenty of money in this country to take care of the people who need help, and will do that."
The White House responded to Summersâ critique calling the Obama administrationâs economic assumption of 4.5 percent growth rate unrealistic.
âIf Larry wants to talk about unreasonable assumptions â¦ we talk about my 3 percent growth rate and his 4.5 and weâll talk about who is actually closer to reality,â Mulvaney told FOX Businessâ Adam Shapiro.
Summers said the OMB director is being dishonest and that the Obama administration used the forecast of Consensus Economics, an international economic survey organization, which indicated rapid growth starting from a big recession.
âHeâs [Mulvaney] suggesting that we had used the same practices as their practice. They are the first to depart from what the whole big world thinks,â he said.
Unlike the budgets of previous administrations, Summers said this one is not internally consistent with President Trumpâs vision.