Trump tells The Economist he invented the phrase 'priming the pump'

Trump tells The Economist he invented the phrase 'priming the pump'
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President Trump in an interview published Thursday said he invented the phrase “priming the pump,” a common saying used in economics.

“Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just … I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It’s what you have to do,” Trump said during an interview with editors for The Economist.

The president also cited the phrase “priming the pump” when answering a question about his tax plan increasing the deficit. 

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“Well, it actually did,” Trump answered, disagreeing with the editors, who said the Reagan tax plan did not increase the deficit.

“But, but it’s called priming the pump. You know, if you don’t do that, you’re never going to bring your taxes down. Now, if we get the healthcare [bill through Congress], this is why, you know a lot of people said, ‘Why isn’t he going with taxes first, that’s his wheelhouse?'" Trump said.

“Well, hey look, I convinced many people over the last two weeks, believe me, many congressmen, to go with it. And they’re great people, but one of the great things about getting healthcare is that we will be saving, I mean anywhere from $400 [billion] to $900 [billion],” the president said.

Merriam-Webster later noted that the phrase has been used to refer to government investment expenditures since the early 1930s.

In the interview with The Economist, Trump also described his approach as “Trumponomics.” 

“Well it’s an interesting question,” Trump said when asked how "Trumponomics" is different from historic Republican economics.

“I don’t think it’s ever been asked quite that way. But it really has to do with self-respect as a nation. It has to do with trade deals that have to be fair, and somewhat reciprocal, if not fully reciprocal. And I think that’s a word that you’re going to see a lot of, because we need reciprocality in terms of our trade deals.” 

--This report was updated at 8:58 a.m.