It’s quite clear that Donald Trump’s budget proposal, which amounts to turning poor people upside down and shaking every penny from their pockets, is essentially evil. But did you know that it is also an embarrassing exercise in idiocy based on fantastical falsehoods?
If the Trump budget were remarkable only for the fact that it systematically targets government programs for budget cuts based on how poor the people they serve are—and then funnels all of the savings into the pockets of the wealthy via tax cuts—it would be little more than a grotesquely amplified version of what the Republican party has been doing for decades. What makes this horrific budget proposal extra special is that it is not even based in the real world of math. Which is where you might expect an economic proposal, regardless of its politics, to reside! Unless it was written by the lying wolves currently running our country!
First, the budget asserts that its massive tax cuts for the rich will be magically balanced out by a huge increase in economic growth, far beyond what economists think is reasonable to expect. Various bipartisan experts have said there is “no way that’s going to remotely happen” and that “we are not going to get the kind of growth” the budget presumes and also that it is “ludicrous.” So not only is the budget pure evil, it is also completely premised on a lie.
And on top of that: the lie itself is based on a bizarrely obvious accounting mistake! Larry Summers writes in the Washington Post:
Then the administration asserts that it will propose revenue neutral tax cuts with the revenue neutrality coming in part because the tax cuts stimulate growth! This is an elementary double count. You can’t use the growth benefits of tax cuts once to justify an optimistic baseline and then again to claim that the tax cuts do not cost revenue. At least you cannot do so in a world of logic.
The Center for Equitable Growth puts even conservative estimates of the scale of this mistake into perspective: “If only $1 trillion is attributable to double-counting the gains from tax reform, that’s still more than the savings that the American Heath Care Act realizes by taking health insurance away from 14 million Americans through Medicaid cuts.”
In conclusion please remember to frame this discussion not just in terms of “The Republicans should rot in hell” but also “The Republicans are lying deceivers, and inept at even that.”
Accuracy is important in times like these.