Supplemental: The verifiable shape of The Crazy!


Candidate Trump's "budget plan:"
Over at TPM, Josh Marshall continues his etymological pursuit of Candidate Trump's new number-one favorite word.

Not that there's anything wrong with it! Meanwhile, in the Washington Post, we get to peruse the verifiable shape of The Crazy.

At long last, the Tax Policy Center has released its analysis of Candidate Trump's lunatic "budget plan." Kelsey Snell's news report is buried deep inside this morning's paper.

The numbers are crazily large:
SNELL (12/23/15): Donald Trump says he wants to cut taxes for every income level, but that plan could cost the federal government $9.5 trillion over 10 years and send the national debt through the roof.

A new analysis by the Tax Policy Center found that Trump’s plan to cut tax rates for all individuals could create big incentives to save and invest, but it also would add lots of red ink to the government’s books by 2026, violating Trump’s pledge to cut rates without adding to the debt or deficit.


His plan would cut the top rate for individuals from 39.6 percent to 25 percent, set a top business tax rate of 15 percent and eliminate the estate tax. Trump has said he would offset the cost of the tax cuts by eliminating most deductions for individuals and businesses and imposing a one-time tax on corporate assets held abroad. But the center included these changes in its calculations and still found Trump’s proposal would cost $9.5 trillion.

Analysts at the Tax Policy Center, a partnership between the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution, agreed that lower rates would encourage savings and investment but they found that cutting federal revenue by $9.5 trillion would force the government to borrow trillions of dollars to operate. When you include the cost of servicing that debt, the center said Trump’s plan would cost $11 trillion over 10 years.
Let's get clear on what those numbers mean:

According to the Tax Policy Center, the Trump proposal would reduce revenue to the federal government by $9.5 trillion in its first ten years of operation.

This would requite massive new borrowing, which adds to "the cost of servicing" the national debt. When those new borrowing costs are added in, the plan would swell the national debt by $11 trillion over ten years.

How crazy is this crazy proposal? As a basic frame of reference, let's compare those numbers to the numbers associated with Candidate Bush's tax cut plan during Campaign 2000. How does Trump's "budget plan" compare to Candidate Bush's proposal, around which so much of Campaign 2000 was fought?

According to the standard projections, the Bush proposal was expected to reduce federal revenue by $1.3 trillion over its first ten years. With the cost of new borrowing added it, it was projected to cost the federal government $1.6 trillion in all.

The overall cost of the Trump "plan" is almost seven times as large. That $1.6 trillion overall cost has swollen to $11 trillion.

Even if we adjust for the growth in the size of the economy, this "budget plan" would seem to qualify as insane. Also insane: the fact that a plan like this has been proposed with barely a word of comment from our slumbering national "press corps," mainstream and pseudo-liberal.

One last point. Back in 1999, Candidate Bush's budget plan was proposed at a time of large projected federal budget surpluses. Despite that fact, the size of his proposed tax cuts produced a great deal of discussion and debate.

Trump has proposed his ginormous cuts at a time of projected deficits. But in the death spiral of our national discourse, his crazy plan has come and gone with barely a word of comment.

Our "news" is all entertainment now. People, let's talk about "schlonged!"

For musical accompaniment only: "So long, it's been good to know yuh." We believe Woody Guthrie said that.


  1. A tax proposal is not a budget, Bob.

  2. What makes you think he doesn't know that? Later he says:

    "One last point. Back in 1999, Candidate Bush's budget plan was proposed at a time of large projected federal budget surpluses. Despite that fact, the size of his proposed tax cuts produced a great deal of discussion and debate."

    In this post he discusses the inadequacy of Trump's proposed offsetting spending cuts, which are budget-related not a tax plan.

    That weakens your nit-pick. Of course, your implication is that Somerby doesn't understand government finances sufficiently to use the terms properly. Get real.

    1. He doesn't know it because he has made the same mistake throughout his discussion of Republican's "crazy" budget plans.

      It's ok. We know Bob has less academic work in civics/political science than he had in education and he not only manages to make some readers think he is an expert in that field, he actually made a living in it for a whole decade eons ago.

    2. No candidate proposes a tax plan in isolation from other plans that can be characterized as a budget plan, a plan for spending (even if it is only about cuts). For example Cruz said he was going to eliminate cabinet offices.

      No one lets such a nitpick interfere with understanding of what someone is trying to say overall, except a troll or someone with brain injury or mental illness.

      If you want to call Somerby stupid, just come right out and say it. You are instead just making yourself look silly.

  3. Federal Income Tax collected in 2014 was $1.7 trillion. Presumably this is projected to grow over the next ten years. Still, a cut of $.95 trillion per year for the next ten years would be around half of what would be collected at current rates.

    1. Awesome. We can now move past making believe we have the money to fight ISIS.
      Next we end corporate welfare, and watch the surpluses rise and rise.

  4. Perhaps a media compromise could be "Schlonged, it's been good to know you."

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