Election 2020

Ben Stein: Trump on the Economy 'Makes Me Want to Cry'

Ben Stein: Trump on the Economy 'Makes Me Want to Cry'
(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Ben Stein lashed out at Donald Trump on Monday for “very scary” economic pitches and chalked up Trump’s performance among voters concerned about the economy to “sheer idiocy.”

The former Nixon/Ford speechwriter, actor and writer told CNN that in all his years as an economist, “which is roughly 50 years, I’ve never seen such nonsense as we just heard from Mr. Trump and it breaks my heart, it makes me want to cry because I’m Republican, I’ve never voted for a Democrat, and to think the guy who’s our likely standard bearer has such nonsensical ideas of every single aspect of the economy is just breathtakingly horrible.”

Stein was responding to Trump telling supporters at a Wisconsin rally Monday that the U.S. is “going to go into a massive recession.”

“But I also say, if I’m president, that’s not going to happen because I’m going to straighten things out before it happens,” Trump added.

“The political incentive is clear. I guess he might as well say also men from Mars are coming down. But there’s just nothing factual about what he’s saying. We’re not in a bubble. By the way, most of these metrics are measured. The unemployment rate is not 20 percent, something he’s been saying, which is just — might as well say it’s 2 million percent. Might as well count the dead as being unemployed,” Stein said. “The idea he’s going to eliminate the national debt. He might as well say he’s going to flap his wings and fly. It’s just unbelievable this is coming from the party’s leading candidate. It’s just horrifying. I don’t know what to say. I’m just so flabbergasted by it I hardly know how to control myself.”

Charging that Trump’s claims take the campaign to a “whole new record of ridiculousness,” Stein stressed that “maybe we are going to have a recession, but if we are, he doesn’t know. Mr. Warren Buffett doesn’t know. The people who are making stock price quotes don’t know. The leading economists in America doesn’t know. He must know something nobody else knows.”

“…There’s no sign we’re heading for a recession and if we are, he doesn’t know and there’s no way he’s going to be able to fix it. Cutting taxes is not going to fix it. Renegotiating trade deals with Mexico and China is just a way to start a gigantic recession. I mean, this is a very scary thing.”

Trump needs some serious economic advisers on his campaign, Stein advised, because “the things he’s saying are wacky, as wacky can be, just off the charts.”

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