Friday, April 21, 2017

GOP Folly Redux: Tax Cuts Pay for Themselves!

Oh my. Here we go again. Reagan tried. Clinton didn't. George W. Bush tried. Obama didn't. Sam Brownback in Kansas and Scott Walker in Wisconsin tried and got the usual "oops, we're broke" result. (Oh, well, slash universities!) Now it's Trump's turn in the barrel? No, it's not. It's our turn.

Who'd a thunk it? Steve Mnuchin plays the trickle-down card. We're screwed.

With any luck, they're screwed instead of us because even some GOPers realize that the last time this song made the charts, it blew up in their faces. But they keep singing it:
“The plan will pay for itself with growth,” Mnuchin said at an event hosted by the Institute of International Finance.
Assuming economic growth based on changes to the tax code is known as “dynamic scoring,” and many conservatives embrace its use when arguing for lower rates. But estimating the future economic impact of tax cuts is very difficult to do, as it requires policy makers to rely on economic forecasts that are often imprecise.
And even if the White House has rosy estimates about the economic impact of the tax cuts, the administration could run into trouble as any plan moves through Congress. That’s because Congress relies on tax analyses performed by the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation, which tend to have a more restrained view on the macroeconomic effect of tax cuts.
“We have some evidence about how big these effects can be,” said Donald Marron, a former CBO official who is director of economic policy initiatives at the Urban Institute. “They are not zero, but they are modest.”
Gad, I can't wait to hear Donald Trump with his "We've got the best tax cuts. You've never seen tax cuts until you see how we cut them, that I can tell you."

Actually I can wait. We probably all will. There's no telling when and if this motley crew of pretenders will manufacture a plan that can get through this hyper-dysfunctional Congress. With any luck we'll be spared by the usual suspects: incompetence, chaos, and (gulp, I hope not!) the need to fund Trump's new war.

Note. I assume everybody with an ounce of intelligence and native honesty knows this, but I still should have slipped it in: TAX CUTS NEVER PAY FOR THEMSELVES.

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