by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In making the case that he would improve on President Trump’s policies, Joe Biden likes to cite forecasts from economist Mark Zandi that show that his platform would yield booming jobs and growth.
Yet Zandi’s predictions have often failed, GOP-aligned economists note.
They say that Zandi, who is the chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, a financial analysis firm, particularly got it wrong in projections related to Trump’s handling of the economy, as well as President Obama’s response to the Great Recession.
Biden cited Zandi’s analysis during a town hall last week to claim that his economic plan will create 18.6 million new jobs, 7 million more jobs than Trump would create, and expand GDP by $1 trillion more. Sen. Kamala Harris also cited Zandi’s predictions during her vice presidential debate.
“There is no economist over the last 20 years who has been more consistently wrong than Mark Zandi,” said Stephen Moore, one of Trump’s top outside economic advisers.
“He keeps predicting that more and more government spending causes more growth. It’s this extreme Keynesian model that has been proven incorrect over and over,” said Moore, who is also a contributor to the Washington Examiner.
In 2016, Zandi projected that Trump’s proposals would create a “lengthy recession” and millions of jobs lost. Yet, the economy grew at a healthy pace, with unemployment rate at a near a 50-year low, during the first three years of Trump’s administration, before the pandemic.
In response to the criticism, Zandi told the Washington Examiner that his 2016 prediction was based on the assumption that all of Trump’s campaign proposals, including those related to trade and immigration, which would hurt growth in his model, became reality.
Nevertheless, in the same 2016 forecast, Zandi also included a “most-likely scenario” for policies that Trump would actually be able to implement, and it too was off the mark.