Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Monday repeated a goal of 4% GDP growth and said the fact that left-leaning economist Paul Krugman disagreed with him on its plausibility “warms my heart.”
“I think we can grow our economy at 4% instead of this anemic 2%,” Bush said in response to a question at the Voters First Forum in New Hampshire, which featured 14 GOP presidential candidates.
“You think we can get to 4% GDP?” moderator Jack Heath asked, interjecting.
“Absolutely,” Bush said. “And the fact that Paul Krugman disagrees with me warms my heart.
“The fact is we can grow at that rate. It will require fixing a few really big complex things, the tax code, how we regulate, embracing the energy revolution with a North American strategy that will allow for high wage jobs to be created in our own country and fixing entitlements — along with moving from a broken legal immigration system to an economic driver. All those things could allow us to grow at a faster rate.”
After Bush raised eyebrows with the promise during his campaign announcement speech in June, Krugman immediately cast scepticism on the vow, writing it was akin to promising that every American could “lose as much weight as he or she wants, without any need for dieting or exercise.”
“Mr. Bush’s economic promises reflect more than self-aggrandizement,” Krugman wrote. “They also reflect his party’s habit of boasting about its ability to deliver rapid economic growth, even though there’s no evidence at all to justify such boasts. It’s as if a bunch of relatively short men made a regular practice of swaggering around, telling everyone they see that they’re 6 feet 2 inches tall.”
Bush has defended the claim amid criticism from Krugman and others, citing 4% growth in the state of Florida during his time as governor. Nationally, GDP growth has averaged about 2.2% since the US recession ended midway through President Barack Obama’s first year in office.
Here’s the clip:
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.