An adviser to Donald Trump’s campaign on Wednesday estimated that the businessman’s policies would lead to a $4.5 trillion to $7 trillion surplus over a decade.
The projection — made by Trump national campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis at event hosted by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation — is not in line with an estimate from the Tax Foundation, which scored Trump’s tax plan as costing about $10 trillion over a decade when economic growth is considered.
But Clovis disputed that the group uses so-called “dynamic scoring” and said that the creation of additional economic growth would make the $10 trillion figure a “much more manageable number.”
Tax Foundation Director of Federal Projects Kyle Pomerleau tweeted after the event that the group did use dynamic scoring to come up with the $10 trillion figure.
Trump has previously repeatedly said that he would not touch Medicare and Social Security benefits if elected president. But Clovis said that may not be the case after a Trump administration is in place for a while.
Clovis said Trump would not initially make changes to entitlements, but after a while, “we will start to take a look at all of the programs, including entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare, we’ll take a hard look at those, to start seeing what we can do in a bipartisan way to affect that.”
Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told the Wall Street Journal that Clovis was not suggesting that the presumptive GOP nominee would make cuts to entitlement programs.
“I read his statements as though we need to examine budgetary discipline to protect programs like Social Security and Medicare, which is exactly what Mr. Trump intends to do,” she said.
Trump has said he would negotiate with Congress on taxes and is open to a top individual rate that is higher than the 25 percent rate proposed in his official tax plan.
Clovis said that while Trump has released a tax proposal, the campaign is signaling that the candidate’s plan “is not going to be the hill we’re going to die on.” Rather, it is the starting point for a dialogue, he said.