Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Pulp Fiction From The US Treasury Department To Sell Tax Plan

The Treasury Secretary rolled out a one page summary of a study that was never done by his department to sell the Republican tax plan to their base.  Economists generally agree that the US economy will grow by 1.9% annually  over the next ten years.  If that forecast is correct the tax cuts, mainly for US corporations, will increase the national debt by $2 trillion.  Consequently, Steve Mnuchin's one page defense of the tax plan assumes that the economy will grow by 2.9% annually because the tax cuts,  deregulation and infrastructure investments will stimulate the economy enough to pay for the tax cuts.

The editors of the NYT and the Washington Post can't believe that Steve Mnuchin would defend a 400 page tax plan with a one page summary of a plan that does not exist, while the CBO, the Tax Policy Center and other organizations, which government typically uses to assess policy proposals disagree with Mnuchin's fictional analysis of the tax plan.  That is especially true when the deregulation and infrastructure spending included in his analysis do not exist.  They are simply Trump administration talking points.  The answer to the questions raised in the editorials is unfortunate but pretty simple.  Its because Mnuchin, the Republican Congress and the Trump administration don't believe that its base requires more than the one page summary by Mnuchin.  GOP donors don't care about budget deficits; they just want their taxes cut.  The rest of the GOP base gets most of their information from Fox News and other sources that enjoy selling magic solutions to them.  It does not matter to Republicans that the majority of Americans don't like the tax plan.  They expect that small tax cuts, that are supposed to expire after a few years, will appease most of the public.  Of course, if those tax cuts do not expire according to plan,  the federal debt will balloon and then the Republican Congress can justify cutting Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other popular social welfare programs to demonstrate their fake concern for fiscal responsibility.

Joseph Stigliz,  a Nobel Laureate in economics,  explains why this is the worst tax proposal that he has ever seen in a short video. 

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