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PRO Talks: Economist Austan Goolsbee says Trump's growth goal is unrealistic

Economist Austan Goolsbee shared his thoughts on why tax reform or other policy measures may be unable to carry growth to 3 percent in an interview with CNBC PRO's Mike Santoli.

"Yes we have had modest recovery: I think that's because it was a bubble that popped and the economy can't go back to doing what it was doing before the recession began," said Goolsbee. "The argument that there's a whole lot of slack, that if we would just go flip a switch or turn a dial we would increase the growth rate in the country to 3 or 4, or the president said 6 percent: I haven't been a big fan of that, … the evidence doesn't really support that."

Goolsbee is a professor of economics at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. He served in Washington as President Obama's chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors and member of the president's cabinet. He also served as chief economist of Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board. Goolsbee remains a leading voice on government policy and the economy.

"The Treasury's own economists looked at the question of how much of a corporate tax cut gets passed through into wages and I think their answer was 18 percent, which sounds plausible to me," he added. "You get some benefit, but in no way are the majority of these tax cuts flowing to regular Americans that are working or that are retired."

"Corporate taxes as a share of GDP in the U.S. are not very high. And they're at the lowest they' been in probably five decades, so then you ask: what is our attempted goal in reforming corporate taxes?"

The economist also discusses:

  • Why companies will keep their money overseas.
  • How a reckless tax plan could put the economy in jeopardy.
  • The current economic growth outlook as the Federal Reserve looks to tighten.