Trump Talks "Trumponomics" With The Economist

Tyler Durden's picture

President Trump sat down with The Economist last week to talk trade, immigration, taxes, and health care and the transcript is chock-full of 'Trumpisms' that should not go unnoticed.  Here are just a few of our favorite exchanges:

On NAFTA, apparently 'big' is not an appropriate adjective to describe the renegotiation that will take place...'massive' and/or 'huge' are far better descriptors:

It sounds like you’re imagining a pretty big renegotiation of NAFTA. What would a fair NAFTA look like?

Big isn’t a good enough word. Massive.



It’s got to be. It’s got to be.


What would it look like? What would a fair NAFTA look like?

No, it’s gotta be. Otherwise we're terminating NAFTA.


Some people think this is a negotiating tactic—that you say very dramatic things but actually you would settle for some very small changes. Is that right?

 No, it’s not, really not a negotiation. It’s really not. No, will I settle for less than I go in with? Yes, I mean who wouldn’t? Nobody, you know, I always use the word flexibility, I have flexibility. [Goes off the record.] [Our] relationship with China is long. Of course by China standards, it’s very short [laughter], you know when I’m with [Xi Jinping], because he’s great, when I’m with him, he’s a great guy. He was telling me, you know they go back 8,000 years, we have 1776 is like modern history. They consider 1776 like yesterday and they, you know, go back a long time. They talk about the different wars, it was very interesting. We got along great. So I told them, I said, “We have a problem and we’re going to solve that problem.” But he wants to help us solve that problem.

On the discussion of the new tax plan we discover that Trump coined the phrase "priming the pump."

Another part of your overall plan, the tax reform plan. Is it OK if that tax plan increases the deficit? Ronald Reagan’s tax reform didn’t.

 Well, it actually did. But, but it’s called priming the pump. You know, if you don’t do that, you’re never going to bring your taxes down. Now, if we get the health-care [bill through Congress], this is why, you know a lot of people said, “Why isn’t he going with taxes first, that’s his wheelhouse?” Well, hey look, I convinced many people over the last two weeks, believe me, many Congressmen, to go with it. And they’re great people, but one of the great things about getting health care is that we will be saving, I mean anywhere from $400bn to $900bn.


But beyond that it’s OK if the tax plan increases the deficit?

 It is OK, because it won’t increase it for long. You may have two years where you’ll…you understand the expression “prime the pump”?



 We have to prime the pump.


Priming the pump?

 Yeah, have you heard it?



 Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just…I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It’s what you have to do.



Yeah, what you have to do is you have to put something in before you can get something out.

Meanwhile, CNN will be even more eager to track down Trump's taxes after he seemingly admitted to taking deductions for "birds flying across America."

But the biggest winners from this tax cut, right now, look as though they will be the very wealthiest Americans.

Well, I don’t believe that. Because they’re losing all of their deductions, I can tell you.


But something like eliminating the estate tax.

I get more deductions, I mean I can tell you this, I get more deductions, they have deductions for birds flying across America, they have deductions for everything. There are more deductions…now you’re going to get an interest deduction, and a charitable deduction. But we’re not going to have all this nonsense that they have right now that complicates things and makes it…you know when we put out that one page, I said, we should really put out a, you know, a big thing, and then I looked at the one page, honestly it’s pretty well covered. Hard to believe.

On the merits of a VAT Tax:

Would you consider a VAT for the United States?

Well the concept of VAT I really like. But let me give you the bad news. I don’t think it can be sold in this country because we’re used to an income tax, we’re used to a…people are used to this tax, whether they like it or don't like, they’re used to this tax. I fully understand because I have a lot of property in the UK. And it’s, sort of, not a bad tax. And every time I pay it, they end up sending it back to me. In fact, my accountant is always saying…


That’s a good tax.

 No, it’s really not so bad. Like, I own Turnberry in Scotland. And every time I pay they say, “Yes sir, you pay it now but you get it back next year.” I said, “What kind of tax is this, I like this tax.” But the VAT is…I like it, I like it a lot, in a lot of ways. I don’t mean because of, you know, getting it back, you don’t get all of it back, but you get a lot of it back. But I like a VAT. I don’t think it can be sold in this country, I think it’s too much of a shock to this system. I can tell you if we had a VAT it would make dealing with Mexico very much easier. Because it could neutralise. And I really mean that. Part of the problem with NAFTA, the day they signed it, it was a defective deal. Because Mexico has almost a 17% VAT tax and it’s very much of a hidden tax, people don’t see it. So, but these guys, instead of renegotiating the following week…many years ago, how old is that? 35?

On Healthcare, we'll never know what brand/model of car was used to describe cheap inurance plans but we did learn that Trump is friends with key executives at the major insurers..."you know, the head people."

One of the things that was so different about your campaign message compared to other Republicans was, you said things like “I want everyone to be covered”.

We’re not going to let people die on the streets.


Look, Obamacare was a disaster. Under Obamacare, you get your doctor; that was a lie. You get your plan; that was a lie. With us, you get your doctor. You get your plan. With us you’ll get hundreds and hundreds of plans. You know, one of the insurance companies, one of the big ones came to see me yesterday. They’re so anxious to start going crazy and you know it’s going to be like life insurance. People that buy life insurance they’re inundated with carriers. All different plans. That’s what this is going to be like. And I said to them, “What do you think the good plans are going to look like?” He said, “Mr President, we’re going to have so many plans. We’re going to have the low version, the high version”, he used the word Cadillac. I won’t tell you what car he used for the low version because I don’t want you to write it because they happen to be friends of mine, you know, the head people. [Goes off the record.]

On Immigration:

Do you want to curb legal immigration?

Oh sure, you know, I want to stop illegal immigration.


And what about legal immigration? Do you want to cut the number of immigrants?

Oh legal, no, no, no. I want people to come into the country legally. No, legally? No. I want people to come in legally. But I want people to come in on merit. I want to go to a merit-based system. Actually two countries that have very strong systems are Australia and Canada. And I like those systems very much, they’re very strong, they’re very good, I like them very much. We’re going to a much more merit-based system. But I absolutely want talented people coming in, I want people that are going to love our country coming in, I want people that are going to contribute to our country coming in. We want a provision at the right time, we want people that are coming in and will commit to not getting…not receiving any form of subsidy to live in our country for at least a five-year period.

On releasing his tax returns, Trump says that he may release them after he's out of office because he's "very proud of them actually.  I did a good job."

Mr President, can I just try you on a deal-making question? If you do need Democratic support for your tax plan, your ideal tax plan, and the price of that the Democrats say is for you to release your tax returns, would you do that?

 I don’t know. That’s a very interesting question. I doubt it. I doubt it. Because they’re not going to…nobody cares about my tax return except for the reporters. Oh, at some point I’ll release them. Maybe I’ll release them after I’m finished because I’m very proud of them actually. I did a good job.

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NugginFuts's picture

Don't forget "amazing", "beautiful", and "bigly".


Personally I'm still in awe of his ability to negotiate that budget Congress put through. Absolutely amazing how he A) didn't fund his wall and B) funded ObamaCare instead. Simply beautiful negotiating. Masterful stroke of legislative prowess.



HockeyFool's picture

The estate tax impacts small family run businesses and farms too. Not just rich people. When the business owner dies, the family has to sell the business assets to pay the fucking taxes. No more business, no more jobs. Same thing with a small farm. The family has to sell the acreage to pay the fucking taxes. No more farmer, no more farm.

froze25's picture

Its a nice change to have someone with real world business experience instead of some community organizer at the helm. Now if we can clean out the subversives in his own party undermining him at every turn. Hear me McCain,Ryan, Graham. If the left had their way we would have a Lesbian that is mentally retarded and majored in women's studies leading the country. Oh shit, don't want to give them any ideas.

FrozenGoodz's picture

Walls. Tax cuts. Big. Aliens. Golf. Cake. The best. Coal. Manufacturing. Gyna. Jobs. Yuge.

Raymond K Hessel's picture

I'm reading this transcript and in my head I'm screaming, 


PenchantForHoarding's picture

It reads like an interview with a low IQ mentally disabled dimentia patient.  Lopok, I voted for the guy!  But what a blathering idiot moron orator.  It's a disgrace to even call that coherent language!  The guy never S'sTFU, but staggeringly manages to deliver no semblance of organized or complete thought.  Painful to read.

The PRESIDENT of the United States!

What a mess...

new game's picture

can you imagine a cabinet meeting?! wtf. I tried to sell new construction to peop-le with add mental prowess. fucken-eh, not listening or hearing with their mind in overdrive with the next thoughts.


slow down mo-fo, take a deep breathe and relax, drill on baby, drill on...

Mustafa Kemal's picture

"Its a nice change to have someone with real world business experience instead of some community organizer at the helm."

I think Cheney had alot of real world business experience at Halliburtion. 

That experience turned the invasion of Iraq into yuuuuge profits.

new game's picture

subsidies for high end trump housing at tax payers expense. trump break, only the 1 percents can appreciate...


Ghost of Porky's picture

Les talking. More swamp draining.

Oh regional Indian's picture

He sounds like a fumbling, clueless, shallow know nothing 8th grader. Surely the nadir in all things are being reached.

This is your leader? You know, huge, massive you know, like 8,000 years like 1776... what kind of tax is this? I get it back..... my accountant told's good, it's nto bad you know, we're used to paying income tax (not you donaldo, not you)....

My goodness.... freaky people, yuuuugely freaky....

You are well and truly FUCKED, all you tmosely type orange cock-suckers.... you admire this guy?


NugginFuts's picture

My grandpa made more sense in a conversation even after being diagnosed with Alzheimers. It's like Trump is playing economic word salad bingo. 

JohnG's picture

Fuck you you piece of shit.  Fucking foreigners with thier goodamn "Opinions" (tm) on our own damn business and NOT YOURS.

We're trying something different besides the douchebag lying politicians that have been ruiniung our lives for hundreds of years.  Trump may not be perfect but he's the best we've got to try.  Hillary would have got us all killed one way or another, evil bitch had many ways.

Trump is not a lunatic, in MY opinion as an American taxpayer and that's what matters.  Not your pissant opinion.

Oh regional Indian's picture

If the US was not fucking over 3/4th's of the world in the worst possible way, ruining lives, cultures and raining death and destruction left, right and center, you might have had a point. 

Do you get why we're all in it together, you fucking asshole? Take your killing, spying, meddling and go fucking home and guess what? No one would give a shit about you or who you fuckign voted for. Try to see th ebigger picture for once, out of your myopic fuckign sandbox....


new game's picture

well said, and a fuck you too to the above nationalist loooooooser, bigly dumb ass....

Bill of Rights's picture

Fuck off...Im tiered of Polished politicians THIS WAS THE WHOLE POINT OF VOTING TRUMP ASSHOLE!

07564111's picture

you voted to be the worlds LOL ?


HockeyFool's picture

No, we voted agaist the usual pile of shit that runs for office. Go fuck youself, commie douchebag.

Raymond K Hessel's picture

I agree with HockeyFool on all his points... I just wish this transcript didn't read like he's on coke.

07564111's picture

LoL..he's not "on" anything, he's a fucking mental midget.

07564111's picture

< another useless are so fucking screwed >

CrankyCurmudgeon's picture

I think this is the first time I have upvoted you in ten years. But you nailed it.

Oh regional Indian's picture

7 years and ... thanks,.....I guess? ;-) 

fbazzrea's picture

The estate tax impacts small family run businesses and farms too. Not just rich people.

you're right because the wealthy elites have attorneys create trusts and implement other tax-evasion tactics.

primarily, the upper middle-class bear the brunt of estate taxes, people who worked hard and smart their entire lives to create an estate to bequeath to their heirs, only to have their drunken, spendthrift Uncle Sam whack the hell out of it, leaving a tattered, halved remnant for the "rest of the family" to squabble over. then Heaven forbid, one of those leave any of the original estate for their heirs, it gets halved again, and so forth. until it's gone.

unless you've got the bucks to circumvent the system. 

slightlyskeptical's picture

Screw the heirs. Americas biggest problem is the majority of the wealth in this country gets passed down generation to generation. It is dead money for most Americans. Take it back when they die and put that money up for grabs again.


FYI I am talking about estates $10 million +. Let the heirs keep 10% of anything above that amount.

CJgipper's picture

I've done work as a tax attorney.  You're missing it.  The only businesses hit by this are ranches and wineries and local hotels and such that are "worth" 10M now, but they only throw off a 200k or so in income.  THey can't afford to estate plan, and they get wiped out.  

jimmy12345's picture

"primarily, the upper middle-class bear the brunt of estate taxes" 1 in 500 people pay estate tax.   You ony pay estate tax on assets over 5 million dollars.  There are very few families that leave estates that are worth over 5 million dolllar.  It is just a bs Republican talking point that upper-middle-class people bear the brunt of the estate tax. 

CJgipper's picture

From my work as a tax attorney, I'll tell you this - estate tax ONLY affects family businesses.  Corporations plan succession and pass things during life.  Small family farms and busiensses that cannot be broken up easily are the only ones that fall victim to the estate tax.  And I say victim, because as you note, they're typicallly sold off to a larger corporation.

froze25's picture

Now lets get the military on the boarder even more then they are currently.

Raincheck03's picture

Trumponomics: I get richer, along with all of my other wealthy "friends" and the middle class and poor are left even further behind. Got it? Got it.

Consuelo's picture



Oh Gawd...


But then again, actions speak louder than words, so if President Trump Delivers, he need say no more, or whatever he likes, both...

Why Bother's picture

Trump is an assclown. I never believed him from the start. As a voluntaryist, I did not vote in November. He talks "huge," "grandiose," but delivers deep state.

Philo Beddoe's picture

It came down to seeing Chelsea or Ivanka for 4 years for this voter.  

Maybe if the Clintons would have adopted a hot daughter things would have been different because God knows the two of them are incapable of breeding anything attractive. 

Why Bother's picture

Hell you could have seen Pornhub instead of either Chelsea or Ivanka and not consent to the dictatorship.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Seriously, if I ever heard a fucked up reason to vote someone in, it has to be this. And this man's wife, who lives far away from him and clearly can barely stand being near him.... what a clownn-show....

Philo Beddoe's picture

When all else fails vote with your cock. 

therover's picture

I did...and ended up voting whoever was last on the ballot. Cock wasn't big enough to reach the top button.

Philo Beddoe's picture

There's your problem right there. Best to go to the booth stimulated so you can make the best choice for you and your cock. 

therover's picture are right. Being drunk and tired at the time hindered my ability to vote for the best candidate.

But then I figured all those cocksuckers (pun intended) are the same so it did not matter.

Mid-terms I'll be sure to pop some V (never did so I might either pass out or die in the booth), in order to be able to make better choices. Then again I hear using that may hinder my ability to see so maybe I'll just bring a nice Vegas showgirl into the booth to help me out.

Why Bother's picture

Hell you could have seen Pornhub instead of either Chelsea or Ivanka and not consent to the dictatorship.

cesar's picture

Well in that case Ivanka wins by a mile!

Consuelo's picture



 There is way too much 'chaos & confusion' going on right now to completely write him off as wholly captured Deep-Stater, in my opinion.    To pull all of this off as a highly 'choreographed' CIA production would really stretch the bounds of credulity, don't you think...?    That is not to suggest that eventually won't capitulate to the Borg, but I think there may still be a sprinkle or two of 'real' left in this man.   

No matter though, we shall see it play out.

moorewasthebestbond's picture

Flip flopping is not a strategy.


Or is it?

fbazzrea's picture

or protecting your feet at the beach

Deep Snorkeler's picture


1. I see the ushering in of an era of pleasurable leisure

for eight years at least.

2. I see a pre-1974, Middle Class Nirvana restored to all of America.

3. Victorious virtuous wars against evil enemies around the world.

4. Ivanka handbags in every closet.

5. Everyone will go to church and be redeemed.

I have no impure thoughts.


EndTheGodDamnFed's picture

End the Fed and renegotiate (or cancel) all government contracts.  Then talk about economics. And on immigration, we're full.