Economists And Experts Trash Trump’s “Nonsense” Supply-Side Economic Plan

Economists and tax policy experts from across the political spectrum slammed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s rewritten tax and economic policy proposals, which he unveiled during an August 8 speech at the Detroit Economic Club. Fact-checkers and journalists had already heavily criticized the speech for being “detail-devoid” and “short on specifics.”

Trump Unveiled Rewritten Tax And Economic Proposals At Detroit Economic Club

Trump Delivers “Economic Speech In Which He Floated New Tax Breaks.” Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump delivered a speech focused on the economy on August 8 in Detroit, MI. According to a Reuters report, Trump’s latest plan would create three individual tax brackets of 12, 25, and 33 percent, and sharply drop the taxes on corporations from 35 percent to 15 percent. In addition, “Trump called for a temporary moratorium on new regulations and repeated his pledges to rewrite the landmark North American trade deal.” [Reuters, 8/8/16]

Fact-Checkers, Journalists Chastised Trump For Being “Light On Details” While Peddling “Pathetic” Misinformation. Media figures blasted Trump’s economic speech in real time for being “detail-devoid” and “ridden with more of the same empty tropes” exemplified during his previous economic policy speeches. Washington Post fact-checkers Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee hit Trump throughout his speech for pushing “pathetic, even embarrassing” falsehoods on a range of topics. [Media Matters, 8/8/16, 8/8/16]

Economists Join Chorus Pummeling Trump’s Economic Plan In The Media

Robert Reich: “Donald Trump [Walked] Away From The Abyss Of Sheer Lunacy Back Toward The Normal Nonsense Of Supply-Side, Trickle-Down Economics.” Former labor secretary and economic policy professor Robert Reich blasted Trump and his economic advisor Stephen Moore for attempting to rebrand the “sheer lunacy” in Trump’s original tax plan into the “normal nonsense of supply-side, trickle-down economics” characteristic of other Republican politicians. Reich added that “nothing trickles down” to middle- and working-class Americans from cutting taxes for the rich, but the proposed tax cuts would create “huge deficits.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 8/9/16]

Mark Zandi: Under Trump’s Plan We Could “End Up With Very Large Deficit And Debt” That We “Can't Afford.” Mark Zandi, the chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, argued on the August 8 edition of CNN’s Wolf that it would not be “prudent” to dramatically cut taxes in hopes of stoking economic growth because there is no guarantee that tax cuts will generate the growth needed to curtail revenue shortfalls. Zandi added that Trump’s idea to eliminate the estate tax is unlikely to “juice” the economy. [CNN, Wolf, 8/8/16]

Wash. Post: Experts Believe Trump’s Plan Will Do Little For The Middle Class. According to two experts cited by The Washington Post, Trump’s speech was “a big disappointment” in terms of outlining how his proposed reforms would help middle-class Americans. The Post quoted Martin Sullivan, the chief economist at Tax Analysts, a nonpartisan tax research organization, as saying that Trump’s new plan is “actually doing less for the middle class than he originally planned.” The Post also cited conservative tax analyst Ryan Ellis, who noted that Trump’s proposed deduction for child care expenses “would provide no benefit to low income workers and single parents who are unlikely to have any tax liability to begin with.” [The Washington Post, 8/8/16]

Paul Krugman: “Trumponomics Is Standard Voodoo With A Squirt Of Protectionism On Top.” Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman slammed Trump’s attempt to re-write his tax and economic policy plan as just more of the “standard voodoo” economics frequently pushed by Republican supply-side advocates:

[Twitter, 8/8/16]

Justin Wolfers: Trump’s Proposed Child Care Deduction, Repeal Of Estate Tax Affect Only Wealthy Families. University of Michigan economist and New York Times contributor Justin Wolfers opened his criticism of Trump’s proposed tax reforms by noting that the GOP nominee included “no way to pay for any of it.” Wolfers then took apart Trump’s proposed child care tax deduction, saying it “effectively excludes all poor families” and mocked his proposal to repeal the estate tax, which would affect only multimillionaires:

[Twitter, 8/8/16, 8/8/16, 8/8/16]

Betsey Stevenson: Trump’s Tax And Economic Plan Is Focused On Billionaires. University of Michigan economist Betsey Stevenson, a former member of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers and the former chief economist at the Department of Labor, took Trump to task for focusing “on those he thinks need the most help: the 540 billionaires in the US.” She also hit the GOP nominee for attacking supposedly burdensome regulations without acknowledging the positive side-effects regulations have for consumers:

[Twitter, 8/8/16, 8/8/16]

Dean Baker: Huge Deficits Created By Trump Tax Cuts “Will Lead To High Interest Rates And/Or Serious Problems With Inflation.” Economist Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, clobbered Trump’s economic plan in an op-ed for on August 8, comparing Trump’s plan to the failed tax cuts by President George W. Bush while predicting that Trump’s proposal would “hugely increase the budget deficit.” Baker warned that such huge deficits could lead to “serious problems with inflation” and higher interest rates. Baker concluded by hitting Trump’s hollow attack on government regulations, “the vast majority [of which] serve important purposes,” and his promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act despite “no evidence it has cost jobs.” [, 8/8/16]

Larry Mishel: Trump’s Plan “Recycles The Failed Policies Of Deregulation And Massive Tax Cuts For The Rich.” Economist Larry Mishel, the president of the Economic Policy Institute, wrote that Trump’s plan “just recycles the failed policies of deregulation and massive tax cuts for the rich and corporations” that Republicans have long championed. Mishel noted that Trump’s proposals already failed to deliver during the Bush administration and argued that, while the plan may engender him to corporations and GOP donors, Trump “remains a dangerous candidate who does not have the interest of workers in mind.” [Economic Policy Institute, 8/8/16]

Bob Greenstein: Trump’s Repeal Of Estate Tax Would Be A “Windfall” For The “Wealthiest 0.2% Of Americans.” Bob Greenstein, the founder and president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), also chided Trump’s focus on repealing the estate tax, which he said would cost $270 billion in lost revenue over a decade while benefiting only the top 0.2 percent of American households. Greenstein noted that the average “windfall” for a wealthy family amounted to “more than [a] typical college grad earns in a lifetime”:

[Twitter, 8/8/16, 8/8/16]

Heather Boushey: Trump’s Childcare Proposal “Will Only Help Those At The Top.” Heather Boushey, the executive director and chief economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, argued that Trump’s proposed tax deduction for child care expenses “will only help those at the top,” citing a New York Times article explaining that the deduction advantages “upper middle-class and wealthier families” with “little to no benefit” for low-income Americans:

[Twitter, 8/9/16, 8/9/16, 8/9/16]

Jared Bernstein: Trump “Claims To Close One Loophole But Opens Up A Much Bigger One.” Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the CBPP and former chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden, concluded that Trump’s plan “is pure, old-fashioned, supply-side, trickle-down orthodoxy” in an August 9 blog post. Bernstein also noted that Trump’s plan would create a new loophole for high earners to classify their compensation as so-called “‘pass-through’ income” that would be taxed at a proposed corporate rate of 15 percent, instead of a proposed top marginal income tax rate of 33 percent. Bernstein included a graphic from CBPP demonstrating that the “pass-through” loophole, which Trump would widen, overwhelmingly benefits the top 1 percent of earners:

[On The Economy, 8/9/16]