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Trump promises debt, default, and depression, writes Jon Perr, and "There's no mystery as to why:"

Trump's combined promises to boost defense spending, deliver massive tax cuts for the wealthy and to eliminate the national debt in 8 years would necessarily require gutting federal spending by about 80 percent, reductions so draconian that the U.S. economy might never recover.

"Leaving aside Trump's 8-year time-frame compared the CBO's 10-year forecast," he continues, "we're talking about cutting $40 trillion from a $51 trillion budget--approximately 78 percent:"

And it's not just that Trump literally can't get there from here. The U.S. economy would be a devastated hellscape if he could get anywhere close. As ThinkProgress pointed out when a balanced budget amendment was being kicked around Congress four years ago, even those comparatively modest cuts would produce an economic calamity on the scale of the Great Depression:
If the 2012 budget were balanced through spending cuts, those cuts would total about $1.5 trillion in 2012 alone, the analysis estimates. Those cuts would throw about 15 million more people out of work, double the unemployment rate from 9 percent to approximately 18 percent, and cause the economy to shrink by about 17 percent instead of growing by an expected 2 percent.

Perr concludes:

To put it another way, putting Donald Trump in the White House wouldn't "Make America Great Again." It would create a self-fulfilling economic cataclysm so horrific that Americans could only dream of a "major recession" under President Trump.

Greg Mankiw identifies presidential campaign myths that feed this nightmare, such as the disappearance of American manufacturing jobs, the furor over bad trade deals, and the nonsensical 'tax cuts will unleash stupendous growth' mantra. "Republican candidates like to mimic Ronald Reagan's call for lower taxes," Mankiw remarks, but:

Too often they act as if there were no problem that a tax cut couldn't solve. According to the Tax Policy Center, Mr. Trump's tax plan would reduce federal tax revenue by 29 percent.

That's a cliff over which I'd rather not be driven.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on May 7, 2016 8:35 PM.

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