National treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson weighs in on embarrassing Republicans. Excerpt:
Free-marketers are right that tax cuts stimulate economic growth that in turn lead to expanding production and eventually more federal tax revenue.
But the problem traditionally has been that to obtain tax reductions, Republicans also have had to sign on reluctantly to larger expenditures. Or, worse, they willingly believed they could spend more, simply because more money poured into the federal treasuries.
George W. Bush doubled the national debt. After running against Bush profligacy (remember the Chinese credit card trope), Barack Obama doubled it again by doubling Bush’s levels of borrowing. Conservatives blasted Obama for his even greater lack of thrift. The Tea Party movement emerged in reaction to reckless expenditures and borrowing to fund Obamacare.
Now Donald Trump is caught in the same old matrix. His deregulation, tax cuts, and energy expansion will likely increase federal revenue. But his various budget concessions and his own proposed increases in defense spending and infrastructure would likely bleed the budget at a far greater rate than the growing federal revenue.
Once again, new spending will discredit conservative vows of budget prudence and supply-side economics. (Budget-wise, what good does it do to expand the economy if the political price is acquiescence to ever greater and costlier government?)
Trump is blasted for not filling federal positions and for his threadbare staff. In reality, he probably gains support for the mere appearance of parsimony. He should press that advantage by enacting a government hiring freeze and a pay-as-you-go philosophy, even if at first it is only symbolic.
If Trump wants to build the wall and “make Mexico pay for it,” why not simply slap a 10 percent tax on the $50 billion in remittances that flow annually to Mexico and Latin America, largely from illegal aliens and foreign nationals? In addition, the government could help fund the wall with fees and fines from DACA qualifiers who seek green cards.
President Bush (43) was only a mediocre President at best, but his rhetorical blindness is rather staggering, as Dr. Hanson points out:
While in Dubai, Bush criticized the Trump Administration’s lack of progress on immigration reform. Then he weirdly noted, “Americans don’t want to pick cotton at 105 degrees, but there are people who want to put food on their family’s tables and are willing to do that.”
Where to start when Republican elites confirm their own stereotypes?
(I’m sternly resisting the urge to type “Now, wait just a cotton pickin’ minute” here.) Picking cotton? Seriously? For one thing, cotton picking has been automated for decades. As Dr. Hanson also points out, many other types of agricultural work, even the harvesting of fragile crops like peaches and grapes, is likewise becoming automated. So President Bush’s argument is not only ill-advised and rather condescending, it’s factually incorrect.
They don’t call the GOP the Stupid Party for nothing, and the recent Senate-passed budget is another example; increasingly, both parties seem to only be concerned about spending and debt when the other party is in power. As a staunch libertarian, I generally vote GOP because 1) I live in a swing state, and a protest vote for a Libertarian party candidate may have the outcome I desire least; b) the Libertarian Party seems to have a penchant for running knuckleheads for office (“What’s a Leppo?”) and 3) the GOP generally at least comes close to what I want to see in matters such as the 2nd Amendment, trade and tax/fiscal policy.
But they make it difficult when their supposed “senior statesmen” spout off in foreign countries. What the hell ever happened to politics ending at the border, anyway?