Dan Mitchell, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, who specializes in fiscal policy and taxes has put together a report card on President Trump’s first 50 days in office. The grading is based on Trump’s economic progress, and Mitchell says that, 50 days in, it’s still anyone’s guess.
…we’ve had lots of political wrangling between Trump and the media. We’ve been introduced to the concept of the “Deep State” (yes, there is a permanent bureaucracy that acts to protect its own interests, but it’s silly to call it a conspiracy). There have been some controversial executive orders. And Trump made his big speech to Congress.
Lots of noise, though, does not mean lots of action. The President hasn’t signed any big legislation to repeal Obamacare, or even any legislation to tinker with Obamacare. There haven’t been any big changes on fiscal policy, either with regards to spending or taxes.
Heck, Trump hasn’t even told us what he really thinks on some of these issues.
- What does he really want to do on tax cuts and tax reform? His original plan is off the table, but otherwise we don’t know.
- Is he going to kill the border-adjustable tax, for instance? I hope so, but I have no idea.
- Will there be a plan to address the entitlement crisis? I alternate between complete pessimism and mild optimism.
- Is his infrastructure plan going to be wasteful “bridges to nowhere” or genuine reform? Your guess is as good as mine.
- What about trade? We’ll presumably move in the wrong direction, but it’s unclear how far or how fast.
- And regulation? I’m guessing a shift in the right direction, but this is another example where we don’t know how far or how fast.
In other words, the biggest takeaway after 50 days is that we still don’t know whether Trump is going to make government bigger or smaller.
I address some of these issues in two recent interviews. We’ll start with this discussion on the day of Trump’s Joint Address. I mostly focus on the need for entitlement reform and explain how Trump could do the right thing for America…if he wants to.
Read more here.
Dan Mitchell on Trump, Entitlements, and the Burden of Government Spending
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