“Prime the pump” is a common economic expression that’s been around since at least the 1800s, but according to Donald Trump, he came up with it “a couple of days ago.” Yeah, and he also has a girlfriend… that he met during summer camp… who lives in Canada, so you’ll never meet her. But she’s real!
In an interview with the Economist, the president was asked about his “tremendous” tax plan increasing the deficit, unlike Ronald Reagan’s. “Well, it actually did,” he responded. “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.” Trump went on to explain the deficit won’t increase for long, then asked the Economist editors if they know what “prime the pump” means. Of course they do — but for everyone else, it means, “Government investment expenditures designed to induce a self-sustaining expansion of economic activity” — which must have surprised Trump, considering he just came up with it.
Trump: We have to prime the pump.
Economist: It’s very Keynesian.
Trump: We’re the highest-taxed nation in the world. Have you heard that expression before, for this particular type of an event?
Economist: Priming the pump?
Trump: Yeah, have you heard it?
Trump: 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: Yeah, what you have to do is you have to put something in before you can get something out.