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Daily Archives: December 1st, 2017


The seat of government in the United States has always been the White House. The current resident has all but painted the White House black with the constant stream of lies, poor decisions and outrageous Tweets. The ongoing Tweet Storm which has caused back lash after back lash even from our world allies and is a stain on America. Mean while TOTUS goes along as if all is well with the world (perhaps in his small one). This is as I see it just the beginning of bad things to come under this resident of the titular home of our leader(?). It is bad enough that we have 535 representatives who have stalled any quality legislation for 10 years while allowing detrimental legislation and dubious cabinet appointees move forward. At this time we have a perfect storm of ineptitude in Washington, the very swamp that Trump was going to drain. The only way to relieve this situation is removing as many long time-serving members of Congress and ultimately Donald J. Trump. To be clear who ever we chose to put in office needs to be vetted by the people who if we look at recent history have been lied to on a regular basis by folks running for office. This White House appears to be on a Nixonian path to our destruction. The advent of  Trump has played into the hands of the baser elements of America and is abetted by a neer do well Congress on a path to keep the middle to lower class of America where they are while selling the Snake oil of working for the oft cited “American People”. Keep in mind that the Dupublican Congress stated from the beginning that President Obama would get no legislation passed yet the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania has written dozens of executive orders which have gone unchallenged and will ultimately harm the “American People”. Our ability to survive is in the hands of a little man with a smaller thought range aided by several hundred miscreants masquerading as Statesmen.

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 Listening to Paul Ryan this morning confirms that the Dupublican House and Senate are striving to sell snake oil to the American people. This is politicks at best and gross incompetence at worst. Multiple GOP senators leaving the chamber after a dramatic late afternoon vote said a key proposal for deficit hawks — a trigger to raise tax rates if sufficient economic growth did not materialize — would not pass procedural muster and would need to find something else to satisfy the bloc of deficit hawk holdouts, led by Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). There has been other ideas floated to reduce the cuts to the Corporate rate to get the bill passed. Given the past obstructionist line of the Dupublican Congress, pushing this legislation on a partisan line is not good for any of us. This legislation will ultimately fail the country and hit the middle and lower class earners the hardest. This is should not be a partisan issue but it certainly is and we will all suffer for it. I submit that as voters we need to disassociate ourselves from political parties and think as independent. Keep reminding yourself that Hitler persuaded a country to murder people with lies and cost the lives of millions in a failed war to dominate the world. The continual stream of lies on this tax plan appear to be having the same effect .MA
Eric Zorn

Eric Zorn Contact Reporter

Change of Subject

“Have you no sense of economics?” demanded an angry reader, objecting to my nine-point critique last Wednesday of Republican plans to overhaul the federal tax code.

Well, I do have some sense.

I have a sense that economics is in part a faith-based social science in which political and ideological inclinations can distort the interpretation of the evidence. And I have a sense that economics is an extraordinarily complicated field of study that combines data analysis with psychological modeling to generate forecasts that aren’t always spot-on.

I do a lot of reading. But am I an expert? No.

It happens, though, that actual experts tend to share my skepticism about the hastily conceived tax scheme the GOP is going to try to ram through Congress on purely partisan votes in the next few weeks.

The Initiative on Global Markets at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business oversees a panel of experts in order to explore “the extent to which economists agree or disagree on major public policy issues.”

The initiative’s website notes that the panel “was chosen to include distinguished experts with a keen interest in public policy from the major areas of economics, to be geographically diverse, and to include Democrats, Republicans and Independents as well as older and younger scholars. The panel members are all senior faculty at the most elite research universities in the United States.”

The panel, which is periodically polled via email, “includes Nobel laureates, John Bates Clark Medalists, fellows of the Econometric society, past presidents of both the American Economics Association and American Finance Association, past Democratic and Republican members of the President’s Council of Economics, and past and current editors of the leading journals in the profession.”

Thirty-eight of them responded recently to two 10-year predictions based on the rough outlines of the ever-shifting Republican plan to permanently and dramatically cut business taxes while temporarily cutting personal taxes.

1. By 2027, the plan will result in a substantial increase in the U.S. gross domestic product.

Only one expert agreed, while 22 disagreed and 15 expressed uncertainty.

2. By 2027, the plan will result in a substantial increase in the national debt as a percentage of GDP.

None of the experts disagreed, while 37 agreed and the one who expressed uncertainty in his initial response later said he’d misread the question and made the panel unanimous in its agreement.

In May, 37 out of 37 panel respondents disagreed with the proposition that Trump’s tax-cut plans would pay for themselves with increased growth.

In September, Bloomberg polled a different panel of 26 economists and found 21 of them predicting that, despite the Trump administration’s gaudy claims that tax cuts will turbocharge the economy and close the budget gap, the deficit will increase over the next 10 years.

The nonpartisan Penn Wharton Budget Model team at the University of Pennsylvania’s graduate business school earlier this month predicted that national-debt increases of between $1.4 trillion and $1.6 trillion by 2027 under the Senate Republicans’ Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will not be offset by modest GDP increases of between 0.3 percent and 0.8 percent compared to what we’d see without the tax changes.

A similar projection by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in Washington estimated additional GDP growth at 0.3 percent in 2027.

Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office, staffed with nonpartisan nerds with keen senses of economics, this week has offered more brutal news for the GOP: The latest Senate tax plan will indeed add $1.4 trillion to the debt over the next decade, says the CBO, will almost immediately hurt those earning less than $30,000 and, by 2027, will leave those earning less than $75,000 a year less well off. And this doesn’t even figure in CBO estimates that the plan will result in 13 million Americans losing health insurance.

The rich, meanwhile, of course, would get richer.

Bruce Bartlett, director of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress under President Ronald Reagan and one of the architects of “supply-side” economics, now acknowledges the folly of his ways. “Virtually everything Republicans say about taxes today is a lie,” he wrote in a USA Today op-ed in September. “Tax cuts and tax rate reductions will not pay for themselves; they never have. Republicans don’t even believe they will; they are just excuses to slash spending for the poor when revenues collapse and deficits rise.”

It doesn’t require a specialized “sense of economics” to see who’s going to get hurt most should these hastily considered, donor-driven Republican fantasies become law. Just a little common sense.

ericzorn@gmail.com

Twitter @EricZorn

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