Politics, Moderate



Trump hates deficits -- unless they help rich people

Catherine Rampell on

When are deficits good?

When they fund tax cuts for donors and rich people.

When are deficits "dangerous"?

When they fund health care for poor people and children, training for workers, and infrastructure and other long-term investments in our economy.

That is the worldview of late of the Trump administration, based on the budget proposal it released Monday and recent comments from its chief budget honcho, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney (who also happens to be working part-time dismantling the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau).

On "Fox News Sunday," Mulvaney touted the virtues of the newly passed Republican tax cuts, which punched a $1.5?trillion-size hole in the budget over the coming decade. This is a plutocratic law that primarily benefits the wealthiest Americans (and foreigners, for that matter), with more than 80 percent of tax cuts going to the top 1 percent by 2027, according to the Tax Policy Center.

It's also incredibly ill-timed, given that it amounts to a major fiscal stimulus when the economy is doing well. Normally, you pass a stimulus when the economy is underperforming -- as was the case back in 2009, when Mulvaney railed against President Barack Obama's stimulus proposals.

Of course, Mulvaney had a different take.

"This is not a fiscal stimulus," Mulvaney insisted on Fox. "It's not a sugar high. It's not the same thing as what President Obama did."

"If we can keep the economy humming and generate more money for you and me and for everybody else," he added, "then government takes in more money, and that's how we hope to be able to keep the debt under control."


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