The Facts And Future Of Trump's Economy

Aug 1, 2018

With Anthony Brooks

The Trump administration weighs a big tax cut for the rich, with no vote in Congress. We’ll add it all up.


Naomi Jagoda, reporter who covers tax policy for The Hill. (@njagoda)

Steve Liesman, senior economics reporter for CNBC. (@steveliesman)

Sarah McGregor, lead trade editor for Bloomberg News. (@SarahInAmerica)

Michael Strain, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. (@MichaelRStrain)

Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress. She has worked for Presidents Clinton and Obama and for Sen. Hillary Clinton on health care and domestic policy. (@neeratanden)

From The Reading List

The Hill: “Republicans happy to let Treasury pursue $100 billion tax cut” — “Congressional Republicans are rallying behind potential executive action by the Treasury Department to reduce capital gains unilaterally. With Congress unlikely to pass related legislation anytime soon, GOP lawmakers expressed interest in having the Treasury Department take the lead, a day after The New York Times reported that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he’s considering doing so. ‘There’s no question it’s good policy economically,’ said Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who has co-sponsored legislation on the topic.”

New York Times: “Trump Administration Mulls a Unilateral Tax Cut for the Rich” — “The Trump administration is considering bypassing Congress to grant a $100 billion tax cut mainly to the wealthy, a legally tenuous maneuver that would cut capital gains taxation and fulfill a long-held ambition of many investors and conservatives.”

CNBC: “Trump tariffs threaten the strong economic growth and the expected market returns: CNBC Fed Survey” — “Respondents to the CNBC Fed Survey foresee good times for the economy and the stock market, but they have put an asterisk next to those predictions because of growing concerns over a trade war and monetary policy.”

National Review: “Trumponomics” — “Our economy is strong, as nearly every new release of economic data indicates. Industrial production is up. The unemployment rate is as low as it has been in two decades. Employment rates are growing and the disability rolls are shrinking. Measures of business confidence are bullish. Stocks are up. The economy has been growing, hitting 3 percent in some quarters. Inflation, meanwhile, remains low. Usually such good economic news redounds to the benefit of the political party in power. This rule probably applies today. Even though President Trump and Republicans are less popular than politicians presiding over robust economic expansions usually are, in worse economic conditions they would in all likelihood be even more unpopular. In polls, more voters approve of the job Trump is doing on the economy than approve of the job he is doing generally.”

President Trump takes credit for a strong economy, and there’s lots of evidence that these are pretty good times. Unemployment is down, while wages are creeping up. The stock market is up, while inflation remains low. And the overall economy is expanding. But there’s debate about whether Trump’s policies have brought us here; and whether his tax breaks for the rich, deficits, tariffs and a trade war will keep us here.

This hour, On Point: the facts and the future of Trump’s economy.

— Anthony Brooks

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