Feb 01

Republican Economic Lies

Look, a comprehensive compendium of all the lies in Tuesday’s farce would take too long and be too much work as I am very, very lazy. This piece from The Real News Network outlines some of the more comprehensive falsehoods and is not limited to those articulated during the event (though it is informed by them).

What I like about it is that it features Stephanie Kelton, whom I’ve come to like and respect, as well as James Henry and Robert Pollin who I don’t know at all. What makes them kind of credible is that they’re all actual factual Economists as opposed to rattle shaking Shamen.

Trump’s Economic Nationalism: Who’s It Good For?

I’ve been going around the country a lot in the last year giving a talk broadly to do with Trumponomics and asking this very question. Can Trumponomics extend the recovery? Is this economic program likely to deliver on the sorts of promises that President Trump has made to the American people, communities in the Rust Belt, those who’’ve been struggling, “Help is on the way,” this is what he told workers. We’’ve been talking about this four-cent-an-hour pay increase that workers have enjoyed over the course of the last year, that’’s obviously going to do a lot to boost the incomes of people who are struggling and who helped to put Donald Trump in the White House. But, look I think one of the things that’s being underplayed, to some extent anyway, is the impact, the potential impact of these tax cuts.

If you look at the analysis that was done by the Joint Committee on Taxation, which is one of Washington’s score-keeping groups that looked at Trump tax cut proposal, they said everybody across the income distribution, every decile that we look at, is going to see, on average, some increase in their take-home pay as a result of the Trump tax cuts. So whether you’re in a bottom 10% or the top 10%, you’’re likely to feel somewhat better as a result of the tax cuts.

Now, we know that the cuts are skewed overwhelming towards those at the very top, more than 80% of the benefits go to people in top 1%. But that doesn’’t mean that people in the bottom 10 and 20 and 30 percentiles aren’’t going to feel a little bit better. And what concerns me, I think, is that Democrats are underestimating the extent to which people who for the last eight years didn’’t feel much in terms of the recovery at all, are going to get some small benefit — however, you know, unequal in terms of the way it’s distributed, and they’re going to feel a little bit better.

I think the big question is what happens in terms of business investment, that’’s where we have not seen what we need to see, to generate the kind of job growth and wage pressure and so forth. I don’’t think that what Trump has done with the tax cuts, with repatriation, with the cooperate income tax, I think it’’s pretty obvious to most economists that what we’re going to see are businesses ploughing those profits back into, share buy backs, mergers and acquisition, they’’re going to pay dividends, they’’re going to do the kind of things that boost the stock markets. So those three people the Bernie Sanders talked about, who saw their wealth increased by $68 billion, so they are going to feel a lot better.

But broadly speaking, I don’’t think this is an economic program that’’s designed to do much for the middle class and those at the bottom, and I don’’t think is going to deliver in the sense that Donald Trump promised.