U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP
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Last April, lunching amid construction debris at his new hotel five blocks from the White House, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told the Washington Post he would get rid of the national debt "over a period of eight years".Trump predicted he could turn back the tide even though he thought the country was headed for a "very massive recession".The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects potential growth of just 1.8 percent a year from 2017 through 2027, based on estimated annual growth of 0.5 percent in the labor force and 1.3 percent in the productivity of the labor force – i.e., output per hour of work.Trump likes to point out that Obama presided over a huge increase in the federal debt.Just 52 percent of Americans surveyed by Pew Research Center in January said reducing the deficit should be a top priority for the president and Congress, down from 72 percent who said so when Obama began his second term.Trump won't have a completely free hand, of course.
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