Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Trump's Budget Team Fails Economics 101

Much of the discussion about Trump's budget proposal has been about proposed cuts in popular programs.  Those discussions are important but Larry Summers looked at the numbers and he found that they don't add up.  The plan that his team put together would get a failing grade in an introductory economics course according to Summers.  This is the kind of team we get when an ignorant and dishonest CEO recruits its members.  It all begins with Trump. 

The President’s personal failings are now not just center stage but whole stage. They should not blind us to the manifest failures of his economic team. Whether it is Secretary Mnuchin’s absurd claims about tax cuts not favoring the rich, Secretary Ross’s claim that the small squib of a deal negotiated last week with China was the greatest trade result with China in history, NEC Director Cohn’s ludicrous estimate of the costs of Dodd Frank, or today’s budget, the Trump administration has not yet made a significant economic pronouncement that meets a minimal standard of competence and honesty.

Trump's team is trying to sell its budget by claiming that it will produce a budget surplus by 2027.
In other words, the budget will satisfy two of the wet dreams that Republicans have had since Reagan.  They can taxes, substantially for the rich, and increase federal tax revenue.  That, along with cuts in federal spending will balance the federal budget.  The tricks employed to satisfy the Republican wet dream are described in this article.  A number of assumptions that are full of holes were used to show that taxes can be cut and also balance the federal budget.

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