In the simplest math of fiscal policy, lower taxes plus more spending equal higher budget deficits. Mr. Trump resorted to vague hand-waving about any spending cuts to offset those changes, promising instead that faster growth would prevent the deficit from rising.

Most hardheaded analysis -- including from those sympathetic ideologically -- suggests this is wrong. The conservative-leaning Tax Foundation, for example, estimates that Mr. Trump's tax plan would reduce federal revenue by about $12 trillion over the next decade, and faster growth would offset only about $2 trillion of that.


If [deflationary bond market] conditions persist, a Trump administration may have some room to expand deficits without triggering a spike in interest rates that would undo any economic boost those deficits create.

But many economists don't see it working out that way. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, was skeptical in a much-discussed paper released earlier in the year estimating the economic impact of a Trump administration. He assumed that if Mr. Trump's policies were taken at face value, it would increase the deficit from 3.5 percent of G.D.P. this year to more than 10 percent by the end of Mr. Trump's term. He said this would cause the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates above 6 percent in 2018 to prevent inflation.

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