The independentevaluations of the Trump tax plan have been rough. They show a plan that deeply cuts taxes on the wealthy, causes the deficit to jump and does little to lift economic growth.
Yet the plan’s defenders continue to describe it as a “beautiful” thing (President Trump’s word) that would transform the economy and bestow gifts on ordinary Americans. How do they keep making these claims? I count four major tactics that they’re using:
1. Describe the benefits of a different tax plan — and make it sound as if they’re talking about this one.
A group of longtime Republican economists took this approach in a long open letter, published yesterday by The Wall Street Journal. It’s titled “How Tax Reform Will Lift the Economy,” which sure sounds like an article praising the current plan before the Senate.
But it actually describes a very different plan, a “revenue-neutral” plan that would offset its corporate tax cuts with fewer corporate loopholes. The Senate bill is radically different from this imaginary plan the economists are praising. Instead of being revenue neutral — technical talk for a bill that neither grows nor shrinks the deficit — the Senate plan would increase the deficit by more than $1 trillion over its first decade.
– The New York Times