Newt Gingrich did his best to defend Trump, and effectively attacked Hillary Clinton’s recent bizarre and false statements about her email scandal. But Gingrich also had to acknowledge that his candidate’s economic plan is nonsense. When host Chris Wallace asked whether Trump’s tax and spending plan adds up, Gingrich admitted the absurdity. “Of course not,” Gingrich said. “Historically, no candidates have numbers that add up.” It’s, let’s say, very unusual for campaign surrogates to acknowledge that their campaign’s entire economic policy is bunk. Gingrich’s point is, in a sense, technically accurate and completely ridiculous. Republicans have been particularly egregious on this front. According to a conservative think tank, in the 2016 primary, Bobby Jindal offered a tax plan that would balloon the federal debt by $9 trillion. Other analysts said the Jeb Bush tax plan would cost $8.1 trillion. When Mitt Romney offered a $5 trillion tax cut in 2012 while vowing not to raise taxes on anybody, nonpartisan analysts noted this was impossible, and would require raising taxes on middle-class families. Clinton has acknowledged that her economic plan would require increasing the national debt by about 2 percent.
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