Cheering for Trump's tax package boon

Published on Saturday, 23 December 2017 20:07
Written by

The Washington Times

This was the week when Republicans proved once again that they know how to tackle big issues and govern, passing the most significant tax overhaul in more than three decades.

It will not only lure tax-battered corporations back home from abroad, it will also unlock capital investment to create stronger economic growth and better paying jobs, boost middle class incomes, and hand the GOP a winning issue heading into the 2018 mid-term elections.

Left wing, tax-crazy Democrats complained that the bill would further enrich big business and the wealthy and do nothing to boost middle-class paychecks.

These were the same big-spending voices in the past who opposed the Kennedy tax cuts in the 1960s and the Reagan tax cuts in the 1980s, both of which strengthened the U.S. economy and improved the lives of ordinary Americans.

Yet even the liberal, tax-happy Washington Post had to admit that the GOP’s tax cuts “would lower income tax bills in 2018 for the vast majority of households.”

It was President Trump’s first major legislative victory in a year of policy turmoil, political controversy and legislative gridlock.

While the president’s approval polls have fallen into the 30s, in large part the result of the nasty fights he has had with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and other critics, the U.S. economy has scored major advances in anticipation of the tax cuts he has championed.

The stock market has recorded record gains for much if not most of his first year in office, with the S&P 500 stock index up by about 20 percent. And the mighty Dow, the 30 stock industrial average, soaring toward 25,000.

After eight years of painfully sluggish economic growth under Barack Obama’s failed presidency, when the GDP, the broadest measurement of our economy, never climbed out of its 2 percent slump, the Trump economy is already growing at 3.3 percent or higher.

Some economists are predicting 4 percent growth once the tax cuts fully kick in.

The naysayers, the people who called President Obama’s puny growth rates “the new normal,” insist that much higher economic growth is impossible. But President Reagan’s across the board tax cuts led to quarterly growth rates of 5.6 percent and 7.7 percent in 1983 that rose to more than 8 percent in 1984.

Nevertheless, polls show the tax cuts are unpopular among 55 percent of Americans who fear it will sharply reduce tax revenues that will worsen the nation’s $15 trillion debt and force spending cuts in social programs like Social Security and Medicare.

The Congressional Budget Office forecasts that, even without the tax cuts, the government’s debt will swell to at least $25 trillion over the next 10 years.

I’ve written three books on wasteful spending, one of which - “Fat City” - Mr. Reagan handed out to every member of his Cabinet at their first meeting in January, 1981. So I know where there are hundreds of billions of dollars, eventually trillions, that can be saved by abolishing waste-ridden, outmoded, nonessential, inefficient programs, bureaus, subsidies and agencies.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Columns on Saturday, 23 December 2017 20:07. Updated: Saturday, 23 December 2017 20:10.