Thursday, October 29, 2015

Republican hopelessness

So, Ohio Governor John Kasich recognizes the complete policy nuttiness of Trump and Carson:
"I've about had it with these people," Kasich said at the rally in Westerville, Ohio. "We got one candidate that says we ought to abolish Medicaid and Medicare. You ever heard of anything so crazy as that? Telling our people in this country who are seniors, who are about to be seniors that we're going to abolish Medicaid and Medicare?"
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has acknowledged that he would like to gut Medicare.
Kasich went on, saying, "We got one person saying we ought to have a 10 percent flat tax that will drive up the deficit in this country by trillions of dollars" and there's another challenger in the field who "says we ought to take 10 or 11 [million] people and pick them up — I don't know where we're going to go, their homes, their apartments — we're going to pick them up and scream at them to get out of our country. That's crazy. That is just crazy."
Donald Trump has expressed support for deporting immigrants living in the country illegally.
"We got people proposing health care reform that's going to leave, I believe, millions of people without adequate health insurance," Kasich says. "What has happened to our party? What has happened the conservative movement?"
But his own plans for tax and finances?  (my bold):
Mr. Kasich’s tax plan -- which would cut the top individual income-tax rate to 28% from 39.6% and provide more relief for lower-income people through the Earned Income Tax Credit -- is the latest offering in an array of tax cuts proposed by Republican presidential candidates.
Mr. Kasich’s proposal isn’t the largest or most radical reduction on the GOP table, but it is being offered as part of one of the most specific plans to eliminate the deficit. It is still short on many details about how the budget would be balanced but calls for drastic policy changes such as transferring responsibility for Medicaid, welfare and highway-construction funding to the states.
The old "we must cut taxes on the rich to make the budget balance" line, hey?  (And let other governments work out how to raise money for services and infrastructure.)

Sorry, he may be less nuts than the populist leaders (who no one expects to last), but his views still show all the deficiencies that have been plaguing the Republican Party for years.

And how's that Laffer endorsed Kansas going:
“These things take some time,” Brownback said not long ago when asked whether his king-size income tax cuts have had the desired effect.
The key, he said, is patience.
Arthur Laffer wants more time too. He’s the philosophical architect of the Kansas income tax cuts.
“You have to view this over 10 years,” Laffer said. “It will work in Kansas.”
But that’s one point of view. As Kansas struggles with higher sales taxes and slashed budgets, I wondered what economists who focus on this stuff would say.
It’s been nearly three years since the state slashed income tax rates and took scores of businesses off the tax rolls. To be exact, it’s been two years, nine months and 23 days.
How much time do we have to wait for the promised “shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy” that Brownback promised?
I randomly called half a dozen economists from around the country. They’re at major think tanks and major universities far from Kansas, and they don’t have any dog in the Kansas dispute. I asked this: Have the tax cuts had enough time to work?
Economists don’t agree on much, but they agreed on this, and they were unanimous: Yes, the tax cuts have had plenty of time. No question about it.
Ha!   Will Laffer still be around in 10 years to claim victory?

Update:  just noticed this from a live blog of the 3rd GOP presidential candidate debate:
Nobody is doing better on the debate stage tonight than Ted Cruz. He won the biggest applause of the night with his attack on the press, and now he gets an appeal to Ron Paul libertarian voters by professing himself in favor of a return to the gold standard and a call to audit the Federal Reserve.
 As I said, how utterly hopeless...

Update 2:  Vox has a good piece about Ted Cruz's attack.  The key points:
Cruz's attack on the moderators was smart politics — but it was almost precisely backwards. The questions in the CNBC debate, though relentlessly tough, were easily the most substantive of the debates so far. And the problem for Republicans is that substantive questions about their policy proposals end up sounding like hostile attacks — but that's because the policy proposals are ridiculous, not because the questions are actually unfair.
The Republican primary has thus far been a festival of outlandish policy. The candidates seem to be competing to craft the tax plan that gives the largest tax cut to the rich while blowing the biggest hole in the deficit (a competition that, as of tonight, Ted Cruz appears to be winning). And the problem is when you ask about those plans, simply stating the facts of the policies sounds like you're leveling a devastating attack....
 Cruz's strategy was smart, and he was arguably the debate's big winner. But it bespoke a deeper weakness. Republicans have boxed themselves into some truly bizarre policies — including a set of tax cuts that give so much money to the rich, and blow such huge holes in the deficit, that simply asking about them in any serious way seems like a vicious attack. Assailing the media is a good way to try to dodge those questions for a little while, but it won't work over the course of a long campaign.


Not Trampis said...

yes Kansas has produced a lot of Laffer all round.

John said...

The GOP is roasting in a fire it made with its own hands. I have no sympathy for it. The current batch of candidates is guaranteed to serious damage if not split it. That Ted Cruz won the day says enough about how totally inept the GOP candidates are.