Except for the very first bit of unsourced gossip that Bannon is looking after Trump’s base, the rest of the post goes into what could well be the Shock Doctrine that could send us into a real, long-lasting, structural Depression.
It’s kind of a throw-away post in Axios, and released on a Sunday during a long weekend, but it has a lot in it:
- Bannon has told colleagues he wants the top income tax bracket to “have a 4 in front of it.” (The top bracket is currently 39.6% for Americans who earn more than $418,400.)
- [chief economic advisor Gary] Cohn has told associates that if tax reform doesn’t get done this year, it’s probably never going to happen.
- Sources who know Cohn speculate that he’ll leave the White House the instant he concludes tax reform is dead.
- Cohn and [Secretary Steven] Mnuchin aren’t bluffing when they say they want to slash the corporate tax rate to 15% from the current 35%. Neither man has any interest in timid tax cuts, and they wager that special interests will relinquish their loopholes if they become convinced their tax rate really will be in the teens.
- They’re becoming far less wedded to revenue neutrality — the idea, favored by House and Senate Republican leadership, that tax cuts mustn’t add to the deficit.
- They’re increasingly tantalized by an idea some conservatives (like Grover Norquist and Sen. Pat Toomey) are pushing: Allow major tax cuts to last longer than 10 years without having to balance the budget. (More detail here.)
- Conservatives like Toomey favor a more expansive 20- or 25-year period. But top White House officials are more cautious, and are said to be weighing a 15-year period.
So, the policy of the Fourth Reich will be “I’ll gladly pay you in 2037 for a hamburger today.”
I’m not an economist, but even I can see this is seriously nuts. Living typo Steve Mnuchin (R – Goldman Sachs) will hopefully live up to the quote buried in the article, “Go big or go home,” and he will go home.