— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2017
Central to Donald Trump’s ideology is that the American public can have its cake and eat it. They can get huge tax cuts and massive infrastructure spending. They can vote for a man who will reduce the federal government to rubble and still have amazing education, a great military and a clean environment. In fact, Americans could probably pay no tax at all and still get all of the services they need from the government because of Trump’s wizardry and deal making skills.
Of course in reality, cutting taxes means the government has less money to spend on services, so Americans should expect far worse health care if they are going to have their taxes slashed across the board. This was abundantly evident when Trump and Paul Ryan released their much vaunted health care plan. The “great health care” was basically a huge tax cut for the rich that paid for itself by booting 24 million people off of their insurance plans.
Trump’s belief in the myth of the all powerful tax cut is persistent in right wing circles — a damning indictment of just how bankrupt their political ideology has become. Tax cuts apparently cure everything in right wing mythology. No infrastructure? Tax cuts. More military spending? Tax cuts. Better education? Tax cuts. Improve health care? You guessed it, massive tax cuts.
The mental gymnastics one has to engage in to make the math work are truly extraordinary. Firstly they defy basic logic — you can’t take money away from the federal government and expect it to magically produce more. Secondly, you have to ignore the overwhelming evidence that shows massive tax cuts (that alway disproportionately favor the rich) do not create more jobs and do not create economic growth. Just take a look at this chart (via the New York Times):
The evidence linking tax cuts that go disproportionately to the wealthy to economic growth is basically non-existent, yet Republicans have wedded themselves to this idea for the past 40 years and won’t budge no matter the evidence. Trump takes this ridiculous mythology to new heights, even to the point where fellow Republicans can’t get onboard with his voodoo economics.
Trump is going ahead with his plans to cut taxes for everyone (mostly the rich), and Americans will find out the hard way that they cannot pay less into the federal government and expect more from it. They won’t get better health care, won’t get better education and won’t get a country with better infrastructure. Instead, they’ll get a debt ridden country creaking at the seams — a banana republic owned by the rich at the expense of the poor.
As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Or in this instance, what you don’t.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.