Monday, October 9, 2017

Larry Summers: Trump Economic Team "Some Combination of Ignorant, Disingenuous and Dishonest"

The Trump team even makes Larry Summers look like a sound economic thinker.
Only the incompetent, outrageous Trump economic team could make a hardcore Keynesian economist seem rational and sound in his views but that is exactly how the Keynesian, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers comes off when  he writes in a new essay at the Financial Times:
The US administration’s tax plan is not a plan. It is a mélange of ideas put forth without precision or arithmetic. It is not clear enough to permit the kind of careful quantitative analysis of budget costs, economic impacts and distributional implications that precedes legislation in a serious country. It is clear enough to demonstrate that the claims of Steven Mnuchin, Treasury secretary, Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, and Kevin Hassett, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, are some combination of ignorant, disingenuous and dishonest.

I have strong disagreements on tax policy with Republican economists like Greg Mankiw, Glenn Hubbard and Martin Feldstein and with Treasury alumni like Nick Brady, John Snow and Hank Paulson. Nothing I have ever heard or read from them seems absurd or dishonest in the way that almost everything coming out of this administration has that character.
From there, his takedown of the Trump tax plan is Keynesian weak.

Fortunately, for your viewing pleasure,  I dissected the entire Trump quisquiliae on this Sunday's edition of Sunday Morning with Robert WenzelLaughing at the Laffer Curve: The Trump Tax Reform Con.


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