Oh, We Got Trouble!

Democrats of River City! Heed this warning before it’s too late! Look for the tell-tale signs of corruption! Corruption with a capital “C” and that rhymes with “T” and it stands for Trump!

Donald J Trump has lost the 2020 election and ultimately it will be recorded as one of the most accurately counted in history. He lost. Joe Biden won.

Decisively but not convincingly.

Which means that the front runner for the Republican nomination in 2024 will be- Donald J Trump. Oh yes. New York State subpoenas aside, Trump will not only keep his base, but it will grow. He will fan the flames of collusion, conspiracy and corruption by using his hyperbole and made up “facts” just as well from a golf cart at Mar-a-Lago as he did from a White House toilet at 3 am.

Never mind the sane and rational Republicans who don’t want Trump anywhere near their government any more than Democrats do, when it comes to whoever the nominee becomes in 4 years they will get behind them. And it will be Donald J Trump.

And he can win….unless…Democrats learn to sell economics.

That does not mean Democrats don’t handle the economy better than Republicans. Contrary to popular fables, Republican policy destroys the economy over the long term. They sell short term fixes (cut taxes) that yield temporary growth, but widen disparity which always leads to collapse. Democratic policy, as was the case most recently as Bush passed a bottomless recession to Obama, is to correct the Republican mistake of pandering to the top while ignoring the bottom. Democrats use education, job programs and stimulus to correct the course. And all of that takes money that half the country doesn’t like to pay.

What Trump and company will do, right out of the gate, is point to every downward trend, even trends that pre-date Biden’s presidency, and will compare statistics from Trump’s presidency, even upward trends that he inherited, and claim Biden is failing. It will be the Factoid Polka just as it’s always been played. And cries of “ socialism!” will echo even louder for any stimulus program Biden’s government implements.

Unless…

Biden targets the economy as job #1. And that, from a historical perspective, must be to use the Kennedy tax strategy. Give the right what they want: Lower taxes.

But do it correctly. As Kennedy did.

Republicans cite the Kennedy tax cuts as fuel for their argument that cutting taxes invariably stimulates the economy. They are the sweet potatoes of neoliberal economic theorists. They are, also, the most argued and misunderstood legislation in the history of marginal taxation.

An examination of Kennedy’s tax reforms reveal that they were not the supply-side (Trickle Down) cuts that Republicans would like to believe, but were, in fact, “demand-side” theory. The Kennedy play book closed loopholes in order to raise revenue while still cutting tax rates (to quiet the economic neoliberals).

Kennedy proposed the largest tax cut in history, but, his plan also closed loopholes for the wealthy and therefore taxation on the upper class increased in terms of actual revenue.  The reason Kennedy’s tax cut was effective was because it was a balance of the right amount at the right time and in the right way. In 1963 the highest rate was over 90% (the lowest marginal rate 20%) and Kennedy proposed a balance of cuts, lowest and highest, which had a great stimulus effect.

This is the elusive reality in the tax argument; what Kennedy’s tax tables and effective tax reforms did was make federal taxation more progressive.  The bottom got the greater burden relief, and while the top got the greatest tax rate reduction, they paid more from closed loopholes, and that is what stimulated the economy; it was more Keynsian than Friedman…sian.

We can start with closing the carried interest tax deduction as a tax break that is a completely unjustifiable giveaway to the rich. And we can limit, if not eliminate, tax avoidance with offshore corporate addresses. Not everything Trump has done is bad and Democrats don’t have to chastise every economic move he made. His tax reforms repatriated billions of corporate tax dollars (from lowering our corporate tax rate) but fell short of his promise for the simple reason that money is hidden in offshore accounts with myriad tax inversions. We need to continue to close schemes that divert investments away from the United States

That’s low hanging fruit (sorry, couldn’t find a less tired phrase) and no one will be kept from getting rich. America, on the other hand, will benefit from the renewed investment in her infrastructure and her people. And taxes across the board just might be…lowered. Just less siphoned away by greed.

Economic prioritizing does not mean turning our back on the opportunity to move the progressive movement forward in terms of climate action, equal rights, better wages, and social justice. However, none of that will happen if, in 4 years, we are stepping back into the Sturm and Drang of another Trump administration.

Oh, we got trouble!

Published by gary1164

I'm an advertising executive and former actor/producer