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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Paul Krugman: Trump Won’t Bring Joy to Moolaville

"The party’s willingness to turn a blind eye to corruption with a hint of treason would be horrifying whatever the motivation":

Trump Won’t Bring Joy to Moolaville, by Paul Krugman, NY Times: Over the weekend Donald Trump raged against the Russia “witch hunt,” which he claimed was an effort to distract from his push for “historic Tax Cuts & Reform.” And there actually is a relationship — but it goes in the other direction. If Trump survives this crisis — which may mean that American democracy doesn’t — tax cuts will have a lot to do with it.
For Republicans in Congress know perfectly well that Trump is utterly unfit for office and has been abusing his position for personal gain. Many of them surely suspected, long before Monday’s indictments, that members of his inner circle, and perhaps he himself, have colluded with a hostile foreign power.
If they nonetheless circle the wagons around Trump — in particular, if they allow him to fire Robert Mueller... — there will be one main reason: Trump offers their big opportunity to cut taxes for the very wealthy. Indeed..., almost 80 percent of the Trump tax cut would go to people with incomes over $1 million; these people would get an average cut of around $230,000 a year.
But here’s what gets me: The wealthy donors for whom the G.O.P. will apparently do anything, up to and including covering up for possible treason, will get no joy from their tax cuts.
I don’t mean that history will judge them harshly, although it will. I don’t even mean that plutocrats as well as plebeians will eventually suffer if America becomes a lawless, authoritarian regime. I mean that a few hundred thousand dollars extra will do little if anything to make the already wealthy more satisfied with their lives. ...
Again, arguably none of this matters very much. The G.O.P. policy agenda of rewarding the wealthy at the expense of the poor and working class would be vile even if tax cuts would make the rich ecstatic. The party’s willingness to turn a blind eye to corruption with a hint of treason would be horrifying whatever the motivation. Still, there seems to me to be an extra dimension of awfulness to the whole situation once you realize that all this betrayal serves no real purpose, not even a bad one.
And maybe, just maybe, members of the G.O.P. donor class will take this moment of national crisis to ask themselves what really matters. For what shall it profit a man, if he gain a $230,000 tax cut, and his formerly democratic nation lose its soul?

    Posted by on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at 10:36 AM in Economics, Politics, Taxes | Permalink  Comments (14)


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