Now We Are All Lernerians

Or is it Lernerists? Lernerites? Anyway, OMB Director and Trump appointee Mick Mulvaney lets the cat out of the bag (boldface mine):

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney is signaling similar flexibility, saying on CNN Sunday that decisions about deductions remain up in the air as “the bill is not finished yet.” He took it a step further, by adding that a tax plan that doesn’t add to the deficit won’t spur growth.

I’ve been very candid about this. We need to have new deficits because of that. We need to have the growth,” Mulvaney said. “If we simply look at this as being deficit-neutral, you’re never going to get the type of tax reform and tax reductions that you need to get to sustain 3 percent economic growth.”

As some asshole with a blog put it:

So, of course, the Democrats assailed the massive tax cuts for the wealthy as bad things in and of themselves, and argued instead, that we should deficit spend to fix all the broken stuff, get some new nice stuff, and put people back to work.

HA! WE MAKE THE FUNNY! Of course, they didn’t. They argued this would crank up deficits and the national debt….

The deficit spending due to Il Trumpe’s proposed tax cuts–that is, the amount of money we would send to the wealthy and corporations–is equal to the entire discretionary federal budget (give or take). We could double everything, from the FBI to the NIH. To put this is context, Sen. Sanders’ original campaign proposal for free college tuition was pegged at $120 billion per year. NIH, NASA, and NSF combined is less than $60 billion. Upgrading all of our current mass transit systems doesn’t come close to hundreds of billions of dollars, never mind trillions. Or shit, we could eliminate the worker component of payroll taxes and still have $100 billion (or more) leftover. Whatever floats your boat.

You get the idea. This is the real tragedy here–we could have nice things, but instead, we impose austerity on ourselves. In fact, giving even more money to the wealthy will only make things like they are now, just suckier:

But Trump’s tax cuts would flow overwhelmingly into the pockets of the already wealthy. That’s much more likely to just swell the savings glut still further, and keep interest rates depressed. So Trump’s plan will make inequality much worse, and almost certainly prove useless as far as job creation goes.

The tax cuts are awful policy, but not because of TEH DEFICITZ11!!!11

Tax cuts targeted towards the wealthy won’t do very much, and they certainly won’t fix all the broken stuff. But even Republicans get that forced austerity when you’re below full economic capacity is really stupid.

Now we are all Lernerians.

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1 Response to Now We Are All Lernerians

  1. There was this OpEd by Stephanie Kelton in the NY Times today – How We Think About the Deficit Is Mostly Wrong

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