Paul Krugman Asks: Why Are We Being Subjected To This?

Excerpted from a longer post called “Trump Won’t Bring Joy to Moolaville” by Paul Krugman for the New York Times

Over the weekend Donald Trump raged against the Russia “witch hunt,” which he claimed was an effort to distract from his push for “historic Tax Cuts & Reform.” And there actually is a relationship – but it goes in the other direction. If Trump survives this crisis – which may mean that American democracy doesn’t – tax cuts will have a lot to do with it.

For Republicans in Congress know perfectly well that Trump is utterly unfit for office and has been abusing his position for personal gain. Many of them surely suspected, long before Monday’s indictments, that members of his inner circle, and perhaps he himself, have colluded with a hostile foreign power.

If they nonetheless circle the wagons around Trump – in particular, if they allow him to fire Robert Mueller, which now seems all too likely – there will be one main reason: Trump offers their big opportunity to cut taxes for the very wealthy. Indeed, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates that almost 80 percent of the Trump tax cut would go to people with incomes over $1 million; these people would get an average cut of around $230,000 a year.

But here’s what gets me: The wealthy donors for whom the G.O.P. will apparently do anything, up to and including covering up for possible treason, will get no joy from their tax cuts.

I don’t mean that history will judge them harshly, although it will. I don’t even mean that plutocrats as well as plebeians will eventually suffer if America becomes a lawless, authoritarian regime. I mean that a few hundred thousand dollars extra will do little if anything to make the already wealthy more satisfied with their lives.

You might well ask, who cares? Even if tax cuts would make the rich joyful, this shouldn’t count against the sheer misery Republicans are trying to impose on the tens of millions of people they’re trying to deprive of health care, food stamps, disability benefits and more.

Still, for some reason I find it fascinating that all this misery, plus the possible destruction of constitutional government, may happen without even making the intended beneficiaries happy.

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10 thoughts on “Paul Krugman Asks: Why Are We Being Subjected To This?

  1. Typical internet-level rant, with a single fact (the wealthiest tax payers benefit the most). American democracy unable to survive? America becomes a lawless, authoritarian regime? the possible destruction of constitutional government? tens of millions of people deprived of healthcare, disability benefits, food stamps, and more? wealthy donors, (or the G.O.P., not clear) willing to cover up treason? All of this is in Trump’s Tax Plan?

    I think Krugman left out “and he will make us go to school on Saturday!”

    1. or maybe you’re having trouble admitting to yourself what’s going on in front of your very eyes every single day. thankfully, if you’re having trouble with that, all you need to is tune in to: @realDonaldTrump and he’ll disabuse you of the idea that this isn’t a train wreck

  2. Because “We the People…” no longer care enough to do anything about the threats that our corrupt government represents to the poor or the rich. Most of us are an entitled, expectant, lazy and therefore an apathetic lot – simply by our historic good fortunes to date. We simplemindedly believe that the corruption of our democracy and election processes that brought Trump into office – will pass – like all things and while we go about our daily existence. Historically, this has been the mindset of many great civilizations – just prior to their collapse under the sheer weight of the corruption its citizens allowed and ultimately could not survive.

    1. All of the above plus:
      Generational dynamics
      An epochal shift in technology
      ~7B people on a spinning blob of mud designed for 2B max.
      We are entertaining ourselves to death with all this free time.
      Jus’ sayin’

  3. Talk about trick or treat coming to our world in the near future we have, Japan.

    The crazy leadership in Japan has created the largest debt bomb the world has ever seen. A zillion-megaton whooper. Now try and picture over 250% of GDP and more than one Quadrillion yen that is a one followed by fifteen zeros of debt. If Japan had a budget surplus ( I know you are laughing right now) of one trillion yen that is a one with twelve zeros it would take a mere one thousand YEARS just to pay off it’s debt.

    Wake-up folks stay nimble and pro-active slip some hedge on that puppy. 2018 is going to be a roller coaster ride.

    1. Japan gonna do a debt jubilee. They’ll be the guinea pig. If they pull it off, and they well may, then next it’ll come to a country near you. The insolvent USSA and a few in Europe will be next.

      BOJ says, “We have a printing press” … and fuckin Powell says, “We have a printing press”.

      The next crash won’t be in equities; it’ll be the bonds. Pity those on a pension, going to zero.

  4. An economist might further his argument with Pareto optimality concepts, just so we know somebody is thinking. Trump sure isn’t because he can’t.

  5. Paul Krugman, I used to think he was too stringent and unable to think for himself, just following ‘the herd’.

    Thank you Paul Krugman, for opening your eyes to uncontrollable greed in human form. That’s why this corrupted economic system can no longer exist as is; our governmental figures have been bought at the expense of the real American people, those that built, worked to preserve what we used to hold dear.

    Must have an overhaul of this coming legislation, with an eye on compassion for ‘the little guy & gal’!

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