Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Red Ink Alert: So Donald Trump Wants to Slash Taxes and Leave Medicare Alone?

 
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People holds signs as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a news conference to reveal his tax policy at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York September 28, 2015. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton.

Even with dynamic scoring, Donald Trump’s tax plan is likely to lose a ton of money. (And, yes, I am dismissing out of hand Trump’s 6% growth claim. Please.) But Trump isn’t counting entirely on faster economic growth to make the numbers work. As he pointed out in the WSJ yesterday:

Finally, this plan will not add to our deficits or to the national debt. With disciplined budget management and elimination of waste, fraud and abuse, this plan will allow the nation to balance the budget, boost the economy to record levels, clear the backlog of workers sitting at home and begin the process of reducing the debt

I am not sure what all that hugger mugger about “disciplined budget management and elimination of waste, fraud and abuse” means, but it probably doesn’t mean entitlement reform that would reduce future projected spending. As Trump has said, “Every Republican wants to do a big number on Social Security, they want to do it on Medicare, they want to do it on Medicaid. And we can’t do that. And it’s not fair to the people that have been paying in for years and now all of the sudden they want to be cut.”

Now keep in mind that even as deficits, debt, and spending are projected to rise, discretionary spending — the usual target of “waste, fraud, and abuse” charges — is projected keep falling as a share of GDP. Also keep in mind that Trump wants to reduce deficits and debt, not just maintain the status quo or current trajectory. And he is going to do all that without touching the fastest growing part of the budget? While also increasing defense and infrastructure spending? Maybe this was the sort of thinking that put those Trump casinos into bankruptcy.

For more on the Trump plan, please check out my new The Week column.

There are 7 comments.

  1. Paul Erickson Member

    Finally, this plan will not add to our deficits or to the national debt. With disciplined budget management and elimination of waste, fraud and abuse, this plan will allow the nation to balance the budget, boost the economy to record levels, clear the backlog of workers sitting at home and begin the process of reducing the debt

    He’s becoming more of a politician with each passing day.

    • #1
    • September 30, 2015, at 9:40 AM PDT
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  2. Yeah...ok. Inactive

    I wish he would say the bottom federal tax burden is 12% (or whatever SS & Medicare costs)

    If Trump is going to be different, why not dispense with the charade of SS not being an income tax.

    • #2
    • September 30, 2015, at 9:47 AM PDT
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  3. I Walton Member

    Yeah…ok.:I wish he would say the bottom federal tax burden is 12% (or whatever SS & Medicare costs)

    If Trump is going to be different, why not dispense with the charade of SS not being an income tax.

    Absolutely. Toss it, roll it into general tax, then privatize it for those under 40. That will lower the current account deficit and eventually debt which is the debt that matters.

    • #3
    • September 30, 2015, at 9:57 AM PDT
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  4. I Walton Member

    I just listened to the Epstein’s podcast from Sept 23 on Taxes and Trump. This is a compelling discussion of taxes, carried interest etc. and the most interesting notion about a consumption tax I’ve ever heard.

    • #4
    • September 30, 2015, at 11:06 AM PDT
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  5. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    Growth fairy + elimination of waste, fraud, and abuse. We’ve danced to this tune before. He’s simply promising something for nothing to a whole lot of people. Standard pabulum for both left and right. Anyone who doesn’t see through it is blind.

    • #5
    • September 30, 2015, at 12:48 PM PDT
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  6. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    How many politicians have tackled the spending issue?

    Paul Ryan and not too many else.

    Ryan is continually killed by liberals with special granny-tossing off the cliff television commercials for being way too harsh and killed by conservatives for not going nearly far enough.

    Congressman Connie Mack introduced the “Penny Plan” — cut one cent out of every dollar of its total spending (excluding interest payments) each year for five years. That does seem crazy to most conservatives outside of government. He ran against Bill Nelson for the U.S. Senate who ridiculed him for “eviscerat(ing) Medicare and Social Security (and cutting) $3 trillion out of defense.” Mack only received only 42.23% of the Florida vote in 2012 while Romney was receiving 49.13% of the Florida vote.

    I think the last Republican to win Florida without a Bush or Nixon on the ticket was Herbert Hoover back when Florida only had 6 electoral votes. Excluding that you have to back to the disputed election of Rutherford B. Hayes and military occupation of the South.

    • #6
    • September 30, 2015, at 4:28 PM PDT
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  7. Roadrunner Inactive

    The really smart people with the best educations and the most experience got us into this mess.

    • #7
    • September 30, 2015, at 7:19 PM PDT
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