Economist Robert Reich said Donald Trump’s economic policy speech in Detroit on Monday represented a policy shift — albeit a dubious one.
“What this represents is a walk-back from sheer lunacy — the sheer economic lunacy of the original Donald Trump plan — to the normal garden-variety nonsense of Republican supply-side economics,” the former labor secretary told MSNBC host Chris Hayes.
While Trump promised that his plan — which involved cutting the estate tax, among other proposals — would “those who have the very least,” Reich argued that it actually followed through on the conservative tradition of hiding benefits for the rich inside ostensibly populist rhetoric.
“Like the benefit for child care: it looks good on the surface, until you actually look at the details, and it’s a big giveaway for the rich,” he argued.
Reich’s fellow economist, Daily Beast columnist David Cay Johnston, explained that Trump’s promise to deliver “unlimited deductions” for child care expenses also stood to benefit the rich more than the middle class.
“If you’re rich enough to have three nannies for your kids, when you fly them around on your private jet, you get a tax break,” Johnson said.
Watch the discussion, as aired on Monday, below.