That’s the anonymous-G.O.P. credo today: We know Trump is a jerk, but you’ve gotta love the good stuff — you’ve got to admit that his tax cuts, deregulation, destruction of Obamacare and military buildup have fueled so much growth, defense spending and record stock market highs that we’re wealthier and more secure as a country, even if Trump is nuts. So our consciences are clear.
This view is not without foundation. Economic growth and employment have clearly been on a tear since Trump took office. I’m glad about that.
But what if Trump is actually heating up our economy by burning all the furniture in the house? It’s going to be nice and toasty for us — at least for a while — but where will our kids sleep?
David Lindsay Jr.:
Wow, Thank you Thomas Friedman. I knew I had something to say this week, and I was about to say it, but, not for the first time, I am scooped by Thomas Friedman.
With all my heart and soul, I endorse this op-ed. I wish I had written it.
Friedman went on to write:
“What if Trump’s tax cuts, deregulation, scrapping of Obamacare without any alternative and military spending surge were actually ill-thought-through, short-term-focused initiatives that all ignored expert opinion — because they mostly emerged from off-the-cuff remarks at Trump pep rallies — and collectively amount to a sugar high that not only will be unsustainable but will leave our economy far more vulnerable in the long term?
Let’s take that view for a spin: I favor corporate tax cuts — big ones. But I would have offset them with a carbon tax, a tax on sugar and a small financial transaction tax. That way, we’d unleash the energy of our corporations while mitigating climate change, spurring the next great global industry — clean power — curbing childhood asthma and diabetes and not adding to our national debt, thereby making ourselves more resilient as a country.
When Trump simultaneously cuts corporate taxes and withdraws America from the Paris climate accord, tries to revive the coal industry by lowering pollution standards and weakens fuel economy standards for U.S.-made cars and trucks, he is vastly adding to the financial debts and carbon debts that will burden our children.
And he is doing this despite many economists warning that increasing thedeficit when your economy is already growing nicely is really, really reckless — because you may need that money to stimulate your way out of the next recession.”
He ends: “So the next time anonymous-G.O.P. lawmakers tell you that while Trump is a moral wreck — and they are saving the nation from his wretchedness — they love his tax cuts, deregulation and military budget, ask them to describe the strategic vision behind that defense budget. Ask them if they really are unbothered by massively increasing the deficit at a time when our economy was already growing — just when we should be saving cash to soften our next recession. Ask them if they really think it is smart to roll back our auto mileage standards, when the last time we did that the more fuel-efficient Japanese and Korean auto industries nearly killed Detroit.
Lastly, ask them if they have kids — and how they think all these Trumpian policies that they like, even if they don’t like Trump, will serve the next generation.”