Cutting taxes, all the way to the sewer


Dust off your Ronald Reagan pompoms, break out the champagne and get ready to celebrate. There’s a tax cut coming, if Congress acts as expected.

Prosperity will flow down from on high, benefitting all us lowly working-class peons, thanks to our president and his minions in Congress.

Just, don’t listen to that nagging sound in the background. That’s just about every credible economist in the country screaming that this tax bill increases the deficit, hurts the middle class and strips the poor of services. But, it helps the mega-rich, so … Making America Great Again!

If the economists’ frantic appeals get too annoying, just turn up Fox News. Focus on the soothing sound of Sean Hannity telling you everything you already think, and you can ignore the cries of impending financial doom.

You’ll need to crank up “Fox & Friends” pretty high, though. Otherwise you might hear one of the many experts (I know, that’s such an elitist, liberal term) warning that this tax bill rewards the rich and large corporations at the expense of the middle class, and the nation as a whole.

The Tax Foundation, a darling of conservatives and champion of the “cut revenue all the way to prosperity” fallacy, estimates this oligarchic handout will add $516 billion to the deficit. That’s after figuring in the Republicans’ magical unicorn of trickle-down economic growth.

So, even if we disregard three decades of evidence refuting the laughable Laffer Curve, ignore the abysmal failure of this tax model in Kansas and Oklahoma and assume the ghost of Ronald Reagan is going to somehow make trickle-down economics pay for tax cuts, then we’re still left a half-trillion dollars in the hole.

More objective, and credible, sources are far less kind to the plan — if you can call adding $516 billion to the deficit “kind.”

The Congressional Budget Office estimates the tax plan will add $1.414 trillion to the deficit by 2027.

That’s in line with the analysis conducted by the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania — ranked by Business Insider as tied with Harvard as the best business school in America — which predicts a deficit cost of $1.39 trillion in this train wreck of a tax plan.

The Booth School of Business at University of Chicago (they’re only ranked the third-best business school in America) conducted a survey of 42 economists and found only one who agreed the Republican tax plan would grow the economy over the next decade. Eighty-eight percent of the economists in the survey predicted the tax plan would substantially increase the debt-to-GDP ratio by 2027.

Perhaps the strongest criticism came in a Forbes column that dubbed the tax plan “the end of all economic sanity in Washington.”

In the conservative-leaning business publication, contributing columnist Stan Collender, former Federal Budget Report editor and Georgetown University professor, estimates the tax plan would increase the deficit $2 trillion or more by 2027. The lower estimates “hide the real amount with a witches brew of gimmicks and outright lies,” he asserted.

That’s pretty strong criticism in a magazine that advocates for American businesses.

There’s plenty more sources — just about all of them, if you add “credible” as a selection criteria — that say this tax plan falls somewhere between flawed and disastrous.

Notwithstanding the sheer awesomeness of unicorns, magical self-funding revenue cuts and the Gipper’s ghost, I think the likes of the CBO, Forbes and the Wharton and Booth business schools are more reliable sources than Fox News and the tax cut cheerleaders who are more than happy to see the bottom 99 percent of American wage-earners descend into financial ruin.

Fret not, though, dear Trumpists. Congressional Republicans and their corporate overlords will not be deterred by any level of expert counsel, precedent, common sense or concern for you, your family or our nation. They will ride this tax plan, and our country, into the ground.

So, sit back, relax and ignore the economists. And get ready to celebrate, as the rest of our nation joins us here in Oklahoma — in the fiscal sewer.

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