Trump inherited a booming economy

I hope you’re kidding.

Obama was the first President since Hoover (yes, THAT Hoover) to never have a single calendar year over 3% GDP growth. Unemployment fell in large part because of the statistical anomaly where a decrease in the workforce, which does not factor in people who gave up looking for work and who retired prematurely because of the lack of work, and up until the last 18 months of his administration, wage growth was static.

And on TOP of all that, GDP was *falling* again, back towards recession, in the final two quarters before Mr. Trump took office, a pattern which immediately reversed upon the economic executive orders passed by Mr. Trump in his first 100 days.

Those are all facts, which you can easily look up at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Federal Reserve websites.

and the tax cuts only benefit the rich.

Even if we’re limiting comments to the personal side of the tax cut (which I was not in agreement with), that’s ALSO untrue. The AMOUNT to which the non-rich benefit from tax cuts depends on other variables in the economy, but ever tax cut in my lifetime (and I’m 63) has given a larger tax cut, based on percentage rather than gross dollars, to the poor; the rich always get the least, based on percentage.

Black people look at Republicans and see people that hate them.

No, they don’t. What they see is people who believe that Americans should be treated equally and fairly without regard for color. This gets “recoded” by the white liberals in the media as hatred and bigotry, because “without regard for color” means that we don’t support economic set-asides like Affirmative Action.

Long running surveys, such as the General Social Survey, find that on the questions they ask that unequivocally indicate racist leanings, Republicans and Democrats score about the same (yes, there’s about the same number of racists in each group) and that overt racism in the US measures around single-digits. (And, I would venture to say that Oprah was right a few months back when she suggested that the remaining racists are all in wheelchairs and need to die out. The pitifully small number of racists that idiots like Richard Spencer are able to attract to his meetings is barely above a rounding error of the population.)

The big “welfare” states in Europe and elsewhere don’t have taxation as progressive as ours.

Now, THAT is true. But people who support high levels of taxation to support high levels of social services never take that statement to the next step — if you want a European style set of social services, it’s not the rich that you have to raise taxes on — there’s not enough “rich” to pay that bill. If you want Euro-style social services, it;’s the MIDDLE CLASS that has to pay the freight, at least doubling their current rate of taxation, and for the upper third of that middle class group, probably tripling it.

A political nonstarter.

They tend to have high rates of entrepreneurship because there’s a lot less worry about being homeless or destitute if start-ups fail.

Suprisingly (since I agree with you that it would seem logical if it were true) that is NOT TRUE. The US has the highest rate of entrepreneurship in the developed world, with the exception of Canada and Finland (both higher) and about equal to Australia.

The reason? Worker protection regulations. Most of the OECD nations have extremely strong worker protections which prevent new ventures from being as agile as they need to be; if I have money to hire three developers to build my product, and one of them turns out to be a bust, I need to be able to fire his or her ass and move on; that’s not easy in many countries, and in a small, bootstrapping startup, one bad higher could kill the company.

American conservatives tend to believe that the sole purpose of government is to keep rich people rich. Everyone else can just suck it.

What a sad fantasy world you live in. If you’re going to create your own reality, I would think you’d create one with rainbows and unicorns, not one that looks like the inside of an active volcanic crater.

In the history of our country, whenever we went to war the government imposed a war tax to pay for it in whole or in part.

Well, LBJ was the first to fight a war without paying for it, although he did do a rather weak and insufficient tax increase at the end of his term. But in general, agreed. Bush was right to return the Clintonian surplus to the people, but the moment he realized that we were going to war, he should have reversed course.

That said, Bush DID have the economy back in track to balance before the events of 08.

The reason the top tax rate in the 1950s was 90% was to pay back the debt for WWII.

Well, that not exactly accurate. But median tax rates in the 50’s were indeed higher than today, and they stayed high until the Kennedy tax cuts, which I think makes your point a bit better.

And you obviously didn’t get the memo: When the congress/president is Republican, debt doesn’t matter. It only matters if Democrats are in power. You should wait until next year for this topic.

Yes, this is unfortunately true. But I noticed that the Democrats hate the Republicans who WANT to be fiscally conservative (the Freedom Caucus) as much as they hate the GOP regulars, and Obama doubled the debt as well. So, I don’t see any end to this cycle.

I regularly read Paul Krugman so I’m very familiar with the debt and inflation hysteria.

Well, that’s not to your benefit. Krugman, by his own admission, has not done any serious economic work since 1995, and his area of study was not government macroeconomics, but international trade, for which he won his Nobel Prize. He is, today, a leftist pundit who has a background in economics, and not an economist outlining the best path forward for the US. In fact, if you Google a bit, you;’ll find that there is an entire cottage industry of working economists out there who blog for no other purpose that to explain why and how Krugman is wrong.

(For some reason I don’t understand, inflation needs to hang around 2%. If I had a degree in economics, I probably wouldn’t be arguing with someone on the internet.)

This is called “inflation targeting” and it was one of Ben Bernanke’s innovations at the Fed. Greenspan did not agree with it. Dr. Ben (who, while at Princeton, was somebody who Dr. Krugman called “boss”) believed that a 2% rate of economic core inflation maximized economic growth.

Conservatives were hysterical about inflation even when it was near zero. Any second the economy was going to be the Weimar Republic and Greece! I tell you! Greece! It didn’t happen. It still hasn’t happened.

But it still might, as the Fed has just begun to unwind its post-recession actions and raise interest rates again. There are always three possibilities in Matters Economic: (a) it happened, (b) it didn’t happen, and (C ) it didn’t happen YET. The meltdown in 2008 was the result of decades of bad housing policy, coupled with some very bad decisions made vis a vis the GSEs during the 2nd Clinton term, for example; our economic is SO BIG that changes taken today could have repercussions decades down the road, as the effects of the policy compound.

Some of the US debt will inflate away.

Not at 2%. That road is closed.

Some of it will get taken care of with higher taxes. I know the very idea causes conservatives to faint from shock, but higher taxes will take care of much of the problem. We could even join the modern world and institute a VAT.

No thanks.

Fixing Social Security and medicare would be extremely easy. Raise the FICA tax on high earners. Right now it’s ridiculously low.

Incorrect. Social Security is easy; a modest increase in retirement age, couple with Obama’s change in the COLA and a modest increase in the tax solve the problem.

Medicare? Enormous problem. Today, the average Medicare recipient pays a tenth of what they should be paying in premiums — the shortfall is accruing in the federal budget, putting Medicare in the red next decade, after which benefits will be cut in the following decade.

The generational imbalance of Medicare is about 700–800% that of Social Security.

Free markets, free minds. Question all narratives. If you think one political party is right and the other party is evil, the problem with our politics is you.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.