Donald Trump delivered another economic speech last week. Like his previous speech in Detroit, his delivery was pretty effective and so was his rhetoric. I thought he did a better job at being less gloomy about the state of the country; he even sounded excited at times about its future. That said, Trump’s overall plan is a confusing mishmash.
- Trump understands that economic growth is incredibly important — he has made it the cornerstone of his message. Contrast this with Hillary Clinton’s vision — where there is no plan for boosting economic growth apart from the usual failed policies of boosting government spending, turning government into a venture-capitalist firm, and raising taxes on the rich. The Democrats have checked out on the growth path and it is disconcerting. As Larry Kudlow and Brian Domitrovic write in their great new book, JFK and the Reagan Revolution: A Secret History of American Prosperity, that wasn’t always the case.
- Trump’s previous plan was very expensive and he apparently took this criticism seriously: He backed off from his plan to dramatically expand the standard tax deduction. Compared to his original tax proposal, he would also raise the top marginal personal-income tax rate from 25 to 33 percent, still an improvement over the current rate. The cost of the plan is $4 trillion but — as I have often said — I don’t mind the lack of revenue neutrality if a tax proposal is accompanied with large spending cuts.
Read more at National Review Online: A Few Thoughts on Trump’s Economic Speech