Opinion: The tax cut and growth myth, exposed

(AP)

At some point, the lies that you tell and the lies that you live do catch up to you. For Republicans, one of those lies came home to roost Thursday night, at a very inopportune moment.

For years, one of the defining myths of the conservative movement has been that tax cuts would pay for themselves by generating huge amounts of economic growth, so much growth that you wouldn’t believe how much growth.

Of course, it didn’t happen when Kansas tried it recently on the state level; it didn’t happen when George W. Bush tried it with massive tax cuts during his first term, turning a budget surplus into large deficits. And as much as conservatives try to deny it, it also didn’t happen during the Reagan years, when initial tax cuts created such huge holes in the budget that President Reagan was forced to sign some of the biggest tax increases in American history to repair the damage they had done.

Nonetheless, faith in the myth has persisted, and has helped drive support for the $1.4 trillion tax cut that the Republican Party is trying to push through Congress. The White House Council of Economic Advisors, for example, predicts that passage of that bill “would generate an increase in GDP of between 3 and 5 percent in the long run,” which if true would be substantial. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin also predicts that the tax cut would pay for itself with new growth, and has said repeatedly that his department was working on an analysis that would prove it.

“In our models, we believe there will be $2.5 trillion of growth,” Mnuchin said on CNN back on Nov. 12. “And we’re happy to go through the numbers. We’re happy to give the details. We want full transparency to the American public.”

Happy to go through the numbers. Happy to give the details… Oddly, though, the Treasury Department has never produced that much-promised analysis, and there’s no sign of it coming anytime soon. Maybe Mnuchin has been lying by saying the analysis was underway; maybe the finished product produced an outcome that he and others in the Trump administration didn’t like and have refused to release. The inspector general of the Treasury Department has now begun investigating which explanation holds water.

Here’s another odd thing: Under Republican prodding, the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation have finally begun producing economic analysis that take alleged growth into account. That so-called “dynamic scoring” report for the Senate tax-cut bill was released late Thursday, and you know what?

It didn’t predict an additional 5 percent growth as a result of the bill, as the White House had suggested. It didn’t predict even 3 percent growth, the bottom end of the range predicted by the White House.

It predicted additional GDP growth of 0.8 percent over the next decade.

It also didn’t predict that the tax plan would pay for itself. Not by a long shot. It found that even after accounting for growth, the bill would result in an increase in the national debt of more than $1 trillion. And instead of job growth so dynamic that it would force wages higher, it predicted a mere 0.6 percent increase in the number of American jobs. Even that increase, it said, would be temporary.

So there you have it: Hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts to the wealthy and to corporations that are already reporting record-high after-tax profits. Tens of millions of tax savings each year for President Trump alone. An increase of the debt of more than $1 trillion.

And a small, 0.8 percent increase in GDP to show for all that.

Of course, Republicans will still go ahead and vote for this bill — desperation can drive people to do very stupid things. But their lie has been exposed and the fig leaf has been torn away.

Reader Comments 0

3626 comments
Menace
Menace

Have the news on in the background listening to the doofus in chief railing about local control and downsizing two recent National Monuments while the crowd goes wild.  Look for an oil derrick soon.  What I don't get is the rush to spoil these lands.  At some point we may have to if energy supplies dwindle, but, right now there's a glut of oil and prices are low.  What is the harm in leaving this areas alone so maybe the one thing our heirs can say about us is "well at least they left some good hiking trails".

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Menace

What happen to Obama "leaving this areas" alone?

Trump is rolling back the giant land grab of the Obama administration.

Don't recall which state it is, but the Obama land grab made the federal government the biggest land owner in the state.

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

Wrong. The spot where trump wants to desecrate had been a national monument for years.

Paul42
Paul42

@Menace
Many of the local folks - just like that traitor in Nevada who wouldn't pay his bills and cons all supported him - get to thinking that because they've used federal lands (owned by ALL Americans) for a lot of years it's somehow become their lands and any controls the owners put on them is an infringement of their freeeeedom.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@DebbieDoRight

Obama expanded the acres, he did not to my knowledge declare a new area.

So Trump is rolling back that expansion.

I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@JohnnyReb @DebbieDoRight


Prosecutors don’t generally offer plea deals as generous as this one unless the defendant offers valuable information implicating someone higher up in the conspiracy than the defendant. Given that Flynn was very high up in the Trump campaign and in the White House, that means his testimony is likely to implicate someone of great importance. Mueller’s objective is to get that testimony in the record, and finish getting testimony from other witnesses, so that other indictments can be filed. And of course, he needs to do this without getting fired. President Trump needs to know that firing Mueller, or handing out pardons in the midst of the investigation, would likely trigger a constitutional crisis as Republicans will join Democrats in calling for his removal from office.


- Richard Painter, professor of law at the University of Minnesota and former chief White House ethics lawyer under George W. Bush


td1234
td1234

@JohnnyReb You are correct. Nothing more than rolling back more of the Obama agenda. 

td1234
td1234

@Eye wonder How did that work when GHWB pardoned Cap Weinberger before he was even indicted and before he had a chance to implement Bush into Iran/Contra?

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

Which were the lies? Everything posted/tweeted was from the very mouths of the people highlighted.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@DebbieDoRight

Lots of lying in those two tweets.

Why you post such things that lies on their face, very plainly?

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@DebbieDoRight

To start with, Ryan or Carson actually stating people who get SS benefits are lazy.

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

Their mouthpiece Sen. Hatch said it. I didn't hear Ryan or Carson saying he was wrong. Did you?

Menace
Menace

@DebbieDoRight  Remember Phil Gramm?  THat advocate of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.  Educated at schools on military bases (Ok by me.  deserved it dad's serving), went to state supported colleges and later taught at them.  Never had a private sector job in his life.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@DebbieDoRight

What kind of screwed logic is that?

Under that logic, if I state Jay Bookman is a liar and you don't rebuke me then you also believe Jay is a liar.

Lame, that's what it is. 

straker
straker

"Slager is scheduled to be sentenced next Monday"  But...but...but....but....I thought all White police offices who shot unarmed Black men get off because of tainted police Depts. and grand juries who get manipulated by district attorneys. Isn't that what the BLM people keep saying? 

HDB0329
HDB0329

@straker ....lest you forget.....he ADMITTED his guilt in a plea bargain.......


....most times, cops DO get away with murder... 

Peachs
Peachs

The results of this failure in tax cuts will not be here for 10 years. You can almost see Mitch laughing, like he knows he ain't going to be here and in 10 years there probably won't be a Republican Party to blame this on. 

Paul42
Paul42

Golly, I just learned the biggest, most powerful unions in the country are comprised solely of stockholders.

What are their union dues each month, JohnnyReb?

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

Lo lol I'm still laughing at his union stock holders response.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

Coal companies want tax breaks.

Response from those free-market RWNJ's:  Whatabout Obama

honested
honested

@PaulinNH 

I figgered the Great and Powerful chump would wave his hand and make all types of energy generation more expensive than coal.....

Then he would turn lead into gold and water into wine.

justaniceguy
justaniceguy

@PaulinNH Noocular companies which are heavily subsidized already to operate plants, we have no choice but to pay for, asking for more of our money. 

There is nothing "free hand" about our energy markets. 

You have no choice in the matter when you move to a new area, and the conned stoopids are trying to make it so you HAVE to sign up, they don't want folks living off the grid or even using solar and pushing power back into the grid.

Menace
Menace

Thanks for all the "Likes" on my rant to Fan Boy down below.  Appreciate that you folks have our backs.  it's really tough to watch people treat your child like a second class citizen just because they're different and go out of their way to deny them rights.  ANd base their discrimination on the Bible.  That just brings out the outrage.  I just fin it disgusting that people who claim to love God would go out of their way to discriminate against someone.  Anyway, thanks again.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

You had every right to treat Fan as harshly as you did.

F##k homophobia.

Paul42
Paul42

@Menace One of the bloggers on this site who was around the longest was Josef.  Believe it or not, some of the cons treated him quite respectfully - orientation was not an issue.  It's what happens when one gets to know a person and not treat all members of a group as a caricature.

I noted, more than once, that he was very likely in the longest relationship with the same person of any of the bloggers here.  

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@Menace Mostly, it's because their Preacher or Politician told them it's okay to discriminate. 


Slavery?  bible thumpers were for it well into the 20th century. Preachers used the bible to show how one race being subservient to another is just fine and a-okay. 


Politicians like having a particular set of people to attack because it gives them power over those who don't think for themselves. 


Today it's Muslims, other immigrants and even gays. 

Before it was "Jews." 


If people do not see the similarities, then they are blind. 

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

And they are still together, (last time I heard from him that is..)

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

I missed your remarks.There are a lot of cafeteria Christians around..

Brosephus
Brosephus

@Menace

It's not just your family.  I have several family members and very close friends who are in same sex relationships and are very committed to their partners.  My family is very religious, and we do not treat our own family members as lepers.  I would expect all others to be treated the same, and I will fight bigotry until I quit breathing.

HDB0329
HDB0329

@Menace  ...no worries.....


....the preponderance of us who ARE Christians don't claim to use the Bible as a weapon...but a pathway for improvement......


....the biggest problem is that too many have weaponized the Bible to justify their hatred....something most of us are trying to get past......

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

The sentencing hearing for former South Carolina Police Officer Michael Slager, who was caught on videotape shooting and killing a fleeing, unarmed Walter Scott during a 2015 traffic stop, begins Monday.

As USA Today notes, Slager, 36, could face life in prison in addition to a $250,000 fine for using excessive force in the incident.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@StraightNoChaser

I'm waiting to see the outcome.  Slager's lawyers are trying to use Sessions and his lack of memory as a means to get Slager a lighter sentence.

A week before sentencing, CBS News has obtained a memorandum submitted to the court by the attorneys representing former North Charleston Police Officer Michael Slager. In their argument for a lighter sentence the defense attorneys, Andy Savage and Donald McCune, say Slager did not lie about his conduct that day and they compare Slager's apparent memory loss to that of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, CBS News' Jeff Pegues reports. 

Slager is scheduled to be sentenced next Monday, and one of the elements of the case being considered by the judge is whether he lied about his conduct and concocted a story about being attacked by Walter Scott.  Scott, who was black, was shot and killed by the white police officer after a traffic stop in April 2015. In video captured by a bystander, Scott is seen running away from Slager who fired eight shots at his back.

Slager's attorneys claim expert testimony supports their assertion that memory formation, retention, and recall is affected by many factors. According to the memo, "In a danger, fear, or fight or flight situation, the chemistry affecting the brain that helps us survive also disrupts the memory…"

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/north-charleston-police-officer-michael-slager-uses-jeff-sessions-defense/

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

Laughable, Sessions need to be charged with lying to the Senate. BTW his lawyers are also saying that he's not safe in prison so he should not get life which is also laughable. Who really cares if his life is not safe?

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Brosephus @StraightNoChaser

On what?

Holder would not cooperate and give Congress the documents they requested.

Sessions has done no such thing and testified each time requested.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@JohnnyReb 

Sessions lied under oath and then tried to backtrack using the Ollie North Technique™.


Brosephus
Brosephus

@Nick_Danger 
And when I try to call out bad policing here, I get nothing but wharrgarbl from the supposed "law and order" bunch.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Brosephus @JohnnyReb

What did Sessions lie about?

Please don't tell us it was not listing talking to the Russian Ambassador at a reception on some stupid form.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Brosephus @Nick_Danger

The cop shot the guy in the back as the guy was running away with no evidence of a gun pointing toward the officer.

There should be precedent on sentencing.  I'm not sure life without parole is correct but he has to go away for a very long time, almost life.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@JohnnyReb 

Lying on that stupid form, as you call it, is as much of a security issue as selling secrets to a foreign agent.

Lying on that form has caused many people to lose their jobs, at least up until now.

I have to update that stupid form every 5 years.  In addition, my friends, family, and neighbors are all interviewed to ensure that I did not lie on that stupid form.  If I do lie, I lose my job.  I don't go from Senator to Attorney General.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@JohnnyReb 

He took a plea on a federal civil rights violation charge.  I don't know what the max sentence is for that, but I don't think it's life.

The jury on the state trial was hung on murder or whatever he was charged with on the state level.

honested
honested

@Brosephus @JohnnyReb 

I do believe that "stupid form" has a multi-paragraph statement at the end that specifies pains and penalties for failing to STATE THE TRUTH in any and all answers.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Brosephus @JohnnyReb

So the state jury hung on a murder charge.

That's the prosecutor's fault for going after something extremely hard to get - murder against a cop while on duty.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@JohnnyReb 

Nope, it was a sympathetic jury.  Slagel's lawher told him to take the fed plea instead of facing a second state trial because even the lawyer felt he would get convicted on the second go around.

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

But the cop wasn't in danger, Walter Scott was....