April 28, 2017

∴ Republicans’ Fiscal Discipline Wilts in Face of Trump’s Tax Plan

Binyamin Applebaum, Alan Rappeport, and Nicholas Fandoms - The New York Times:

when Republicans take charge, their fiscal rectitude sometimes starts to waver. The broad Republican support this week for President Trump’s plan to sharply reduce taxes suggests that those who hang on to austere concerns about debt will now be facing former allies who want to chase economic growth.

Funny how reducing the deficit is always priority one when there’s a GOP majority in Congress, but a Democrat in the White House. “Tax-and-spend liberals,” they say. "Deficits will kill growth,” they say.

A major brou-ha-ha erupted over whether the federal government should do more deficit spending to stimulate the economy during the Great Recession. Loud, angry, Republican Congressmen waived around and quoted a since-discredited economics paper purporting to show that economic growth is cut roughly in half in countries whose deficit exceeds 90% of GDP. They’ll endorse just about anything to discredit the other party’s policies, even a paper based on a math error that, when corrected, completely nullified the paper’s impact.

We’ve come full circle, now. A nominal Republican is sitting in the White House, talking up tax cuts and spending increases that will balloon the federal deficit through the end of the decade, increasing the federal debt. From the article:

Some Republicans are rallying around the idea that less taxation is more important than less debt, just as they did during the Republican presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. That shift is a break with the die-hard hawks of the anti-deficit industrial complex, who have long warned of calamitous consequences to the American economy.

Reduce taxes, increase spending. Then magic happens, revenues increase and we all live happily ever after. This, from the party that took the country to the brink of default by refusing to raise the federal debt ceiling more than once during the Obama administration.

There’s a word for this. Hypocrisy.

Today’s American Republican party is intellectually bankrupt. Its party leader, the president, has accomplished largely nothing beyond alienating citizens and allies alike during his first one hundred days in office. The opposition party is on fire, with grass roots candidates lining up to run for Congress next year.

It may be true that Donald Trump was the best thing to happen to the Democratic party. Bernie Sanders’ candidacy was evidence of the need for core change in the party’s candidates and platform. A stunning, perhaps temporary setback in 2016 may indeed turn to a rout of the GOP in the coming two election cycles if the incompetence and hypocrisy of the current administration and its Congressional enablers continues.

#GOP #fraud #Trump #grass #roots #politics #economics

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