If #NeverTrump Candidate Evan McMullin Was President, Here's What Would Happen to the U.S. Economy

Evan McMullin hasn't been running for president for very long. He announced his candidacy on August 8., positioning himself as a conservative alternative to Donald Trump and a flag-bearer for the #NeverTrump movement. The former CIA counterterrorism officer and Goldman Sachs (GS) investment banker is trying to make an appeal to voters dissatisfied with the options currently offered by America's both major parties.

To say McMullin's candidacy is a long-shot would be overstating his odds. The Wharton-educated Utah native, who most recently served as a senior advisor to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and chief policy director of the House Republican Conference, has thus far failed to register in the polls. He anticipates being on the ballot or registered as a write-in in 40 to 45 states by Election Day, but currently, he is only an option in 27.

It would be impossible for McMullin to reach the 270 electoral votes necessary for outright victory in November, but that isn't his plan, anyway.

Instead, his path to the White House entails forcing an electoral deadlock and throwing the presidential election to the House of Representatives, where he believes he could come out on top, he explained recently to The Guardian. "It is what it is," he said. "We are realistic about it."

Per his latest campaign finance filing with the Federal Election Commission, the McMullin campaign has brought in about $320,000 in contributions and spent about $275,000 through the end of August. It entered September with just under $45,000 in cash on hand. This week, it released a campaign ad featuring an insulting, profanity-laced voicemail left for McMullin spokeswoman Rina Shah. The ad will air in select markets.

TheStreet reached out to the McMullin campaign to learn more about the candidate's positions on items related to the economy, including taxes, trade, immigration, health care, entitlements and finance reform. His positions are, as you might expect, largely in line with the Republican party: lower taxes, free trade, secure borders, the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), reformed entitlements and the end of Dodd-Frank.

"There are three primary roadblocks standing in the way of a stronger economy," the McMullin team wrote. "We have a tax code that rewards special interests while hurting small businesses, burdensome regulations that cost businesses about $2 trillion per year and suppress growth and innovation, and runaway entitlement spending that is driving our debt to unsustainable levels."

What would the U.S. economy look like if long-shot McMullin were to wind up in the Oval Office? Here's a look.


With the exception of a slightly higher corporate tax rate, McMullin's tax proposal is largely in line with the tax reform plan put forth by House Republicans over the summer. Individual income taxes would be reduced to three brackets from seven at rates of 12%, 25% and 33%. Small business taxes would be reduced to 25%, and the corporate tax rate would also be reduced to 25% (the House GOP plan pegs the corporate tax rate at 20%).

Steve Rosenthal, senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, described the proposal as "pretty standard conservative fare -- tax cuts are the elixir to the economy."

The conservative-leaning Tax Foundation in July produced an analysis of the Republican House tax plan that provides at least a rough idea of how McMullin's proposal could impact the economy, taking into account that the GOP platform is much more fleshed out and that its corporate tax rate is slightly lower. The foundation estimates the plan would lead to 9.1% higher GDP over the long term, 7.7% higher wages and an additional 1.7 million jobs. On a dynamic basis (which essentially assumes lower taxes leads to economic growth), it estimates revenue would be reduced by $191 billion over the next decade.

"You can minimize the deficit and pay for the taxes eventually though growth, but it's a long-term process," said Michael Busler, public policy analyst and professor of finance at Stockton University.

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