The Trump administration has put forward a nine page tax cutting “proposal” that analysts agree is specific only about the great big tax cut it’ll give folks like Donald Trump. You want to know what we know about it at this point: it’ll cut taxes mightily for the wealthy, it’ll raise taxes for many in the middle class, it’ll explode the deficit. And, as is now the norm under Trump, it’s being sold to us by means of bare-faced lies.
All of which makes the response of Missouri GOPer, Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-4) so intriguing. She sums up her “hopes” for the proposed tax cuts thusly:
I hope we can quickly pass this legislation and get it on the President’s desk so that we can create more jobs, simplify the burdensome tax process, and put more money in the wallets of Americans.
Which, in the light of what we are learning about the Trump skeleton proposal and what it will or will not do, leads one to ask whether or not she really believes this twaddle.
Surely Harzler, and the stampede of GOPers who will almost certainly follow her example and endorse the Trump desiderata list, realize that there are some serious questions that have to be answered before any legislation reaches the president’s desk:
- How will GOPers like Hartzler propose to pay for the mammoth cuts they are giving to the wealthy and to corporations? The plan is very sketchy about retaining or eliminating deductions that benefit the middle classes – although it is far more detailed when it comes to the benefits that will be awarded to the 1%. Do Hartzler and her pals really think that they’ll be able to “quickly” hash out the extensive details that are currently TBD to everybody’s satisfaction?
- Does the Hartzler contingent really buy the “voodoo,” trickle-down economic theories that are being used to justify the burden these tax cuts will put on the deficit? In spite of the consistent failure of this theory over past decades? Or in spite of the warnings of conservative economists like Bruce Bartlett, one of the first proponents of the claim that tax cuts spur growth, who declared in response to the Trump proposal that it is ” wishful thinking,” adding that “there’s no evidence that a tax cut now would spur growth”?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then the answer to the question posed in the title of this post is “both.” These folks are the truest of misguided true believers and they’re likely dumber than a whole heap of stones.
Of course, there’s another alternative. These days most GOP lawmakers finance their political careers by the grace of the generous and wealthy 1%, the folks who have for years been positioning themselves to be able to buy a tax code just like the one Richie Rich-pants Trump is flogging. Perhaps our Republicans aren’t star-struck, naive or dumb. It could be nothing more than that old-time D.C. swamp water that everybody promises to drain while it creeps ever higher and which, under Trump, may have finally reached a level high enough to drown decent politicians.