Donald Trump predicted a "very massive recession" soon in the United States, saying that "it’s a terrible time right now" to invest in the stock market — though he claimed that he could eliminate the nation's $19 trillion debt "over a period of eight years."
"I think we’re sitting on an economic bubble," he told The Washington Post in a report published on Saturday. "A financial bubble."
Trump emphasized that this applied to the economy overall and not a specific sector, attributing it to an overvalued stock market.
"First of all, we’re not at 5 percent unemployment," the developer told Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. "We’re at a number that’s probably into the twenties, if you look at the real number.
"That was a number that was devised, statistically devised to make politicians — and in particular presidents — look good," Trump added. "And I wouldn’t be getting the kind of massive crowds that I’m getting if the number was a real number."
The national unemployment rate for March is 5 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The developer also argued that to restore the national economy, and erase the debt, would require stronger trade deals that benefit the United States, as well as the "very big tax cut" that the billionaire introduced last September.
Trump's plan would raise taxes on the "very rich" and would lower them for most taxpayers, while cutting the corporate tax rate to 15 percent.
He also would lure companies back to America with deeply discounted tax rates and would ban corporations from deferring taxes on income earned overseas.
"It's precarious times," Trump said. "Part of the reason it’s precarious is because we are being ripped so badly by other countries.
"We are being ripped so badly by China. It just never ends. Nobody’s ever going to stop it.
"And the reason they’re not going to stop it is one of two: They’re either living in a world of the make believe, or they’re totally controlled by their lobbyists and their special interests.
"I'm pessimistic," he told the Post. "Unless changes are made. Changes could be made."
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