The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Dead Wrong!

One of the ways to avoid bad predictions and erroneous decisions is to be held to account for the bad predictions and erroneous decisions you do make. It's perfectly okay to make mistakes, but it's not okay to make analogous mistakes repeatedly, and it's even worse to make those mistakes because you're driven not by what you believe is clear thinking, but rather by ideologically driven hatred. The progressive left makes lots and lots of predictions about the economy, about the environment, about foreign relations, about fiscal matters, about governance, about taxation and yes, about things like Russian collusion—only to be proven wrong over and over again. But because the trained hamsters in the media want to promote the progressive left's narratives, those mistakes are never examined. In essence, the left is never held to account for being wrong and then wrong again; for predicting catastrophic consequences, when no such consequences appear.

David Harsanyi examines the left's predictions on Donald Trump's tax reform package, enacted early in his presidency:
For those of you who survived the Great GOP Tax Cut Massacre, things are finally looking up. The unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent last month, the lowest level since 1969. We've now experienced over a full year of unemployment at 4 percent or lower. The economy beat projections, adding another 263,000 jobs in April. Wages are rising.

It was Larry Summers, Bill Clinton's former treasury secretary and Barack Obama's White House economic adviser, who warned that tax reform would lead to over 10,000 dead Americans every year in December of 2017. Summers, considered a reasonable moderate by today's political standards, was just one of the many fearmongers.

The same month, after cautioning that passage of tax cuts would portend "Armageddon," then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi explained that the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), a reform of corporate tax codes and a wide-ranging relief, was "the worst bill in the history of the United States Congress." Worse than the Fugitive Slave Act? Worse than the Espionage Act? Worse than congressional approval of the internment of Japanese Americans? That's a really bad bill.

The tenor of left-wing cable news and punditry was predictably panic-stricken. After asserting that the cuts wouldn't help create a single job, Bruce Bartlett told MSNBC that tax relief was "really akin to rape." Kurt Eichenwald tweeted that "America died tonight." "I'm a Depression historian," read the headline on a Washington Post op-ed. "The GOP tax bill is straight out of 1929," proclaimed the same writer. And so on.

None of this is even getting into the MSM's straight news coverage, which persistently (and falsely) painted the bill as a tax cut for the wealthy. "One-Third of Middle Class Families Could End up Paying More Under the GOP Tax Plan" noted Money magazine. An Associated Press headline read, "House Passes First Rewrite of Nation's Tax Laws in Three Decades, Providing Steep Tax Cuts for Businesses, the Wealthy." "Poor Americans Would Lose Billions Under Senate GOP Tax Bill" reported CNN. Yahoo News ran one piece after the next predicting doom.
Okay, all of these left-leaning politicians, pundits and media sources were wrong. Dead wrong! But rather than admit error, they do what they always do, double down. Even "moderate" Dem candidates for president (think Joe Biden) say they're going to raise taxes to improve the plight of the middle class. That would be the same middle class that has benefitted substantially from Trump's tax reform. I guess Biden et al haven't heard the aphorism, "If it's not broke, don't fix it."

But that's not to say that some things could be improved. The Trump administration, like every administration before them, has over-spent and increased the national debt to dangerous levels. That should be corrected, but I've yet to see any Democrat plan to reduce spending in any meaningful way. The swamp is extremely difficult —maybe impossible—to drain, but suggesting that by giving the swamp creatures more tax dollars, the middle class will benefit, is either monumentally stupid or breathtakingly naive.