Tory Newmyer notes that Trump’s false claims about his economic record typified chaotic debate:
Trump did make some claims about the economic record he has compiled in his first term. They were riddled with exaggerations and outright falsehoods.
In the first half of his term, Trump’s signature tax cuts and a major spending package gave the economic expansion he inherited a turbo-boost of fiscal stimulus. But as they faded, and Trump launched a multi-front trade war that weighed on investment and spending by businesses, growth slowed from 2.9 percent in 2018 to 2.3 percent last year, well short of the 3 percent pace he promised to lock in, at a minimum.
And even if Trump had lived up to his pledge to maintain a 3 percent pace, it would have fallen short of the roughly 4 percent growth in the second half of the 1990s — as well as a mid-1980s boom.
Judged on a more recent timeline, from the beginning of the Obama administration, pre-pandemic growth under Trump has merely followed the trend — contrary to Trump’s claim in the debate that after his 2017 tax cuts, the economy “boomed like it’\s never boomed before.”
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Trump’s ceaseless market meddling – most notably his economically irrational trade war – undermined the positive growth trend he inherited.
Trump: A serial failure personally, a serial failure administratively.