Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman compared President Donald Trump on Friday to an evil child with supernatural powers as portrayed in an episode of the late 1950s and early 60s TV show, “The Twilight Zone.”
“Fans of old TV series may remember a classic ‘Twilight Zone’ episode titled ‘It’s a Good Life,'” wrote Krugman. “It featured a small town terrorized by a 6-year-old who for some reason had monstrous superpowers, coupled with complete emotional immaturity. Everyone lived in constant fear, made worse by the need to pretend that everything was fine. After all, any hint of discontent could bring terrible retribution.”
Such is Pres. Trump’s relationship with his administration and, by extension, the rest of the world, Krugman said.
“What set me off on this chain of association?” he said. “The answer may surprise you; it was the tax ‘plan’ the administration released on Wednesday.”
Krugman said he’s using scare quotes on “plan” because “the single-page document the White House circulated this week bore no resemblance to what people normally mean when they talk about a tax plan. True, a few tax rates were mentioned — but nothing was said about the income thresholds at which these rates apply.”
The document — which Whoopi Goldberg on Thursday joked was “originally written in crayon” — mentions that it will eliminate “tax breaks,” but provides no information about which ones.
“So if you were looking for a document that you could use to estimate, even roughly, how much a given individual would end up paying, sorry,” said Krugman.
“So why would the White House release such an embarrassing document? Why would the Treasury Department go along with this clown show?” he asked.
Because our president is “like a temperamental child, bored by details and easily frustrated when things don’t go his way.”
Desperate for some kind of win to hold up to mark his first 100 days, Pres. Trump reportedly ordered the Treasury Department to put out some kind of document, no matter how vague or mathematically improbable.
“According to The Times, this left Treasury staff — who were nowhere near having a plan ready to go — ‘speechless,’” Krugman reported. “But nobody dared tell him it couldn’t be done. Instead, they released … something, with nobody sure what it means.”
And like the 6-year-old boy in “It’s a Good Life,” everyone around Trump lives in terror of his wrath or of upsetting him. Krugman pointed to Trump’s unsubstantiated claims about former Pres. Barack Obama wiretapping Trump Tower or the failed healthcare bill that died in Congress without ever reaching a vote.
“Clearly, Trump and company should just let it go and move on to something else. But that would require a certain level of maturity — which is a quality nowhere to be found in this White House. So they just keep at it, with proposals everyone I know calls zombie Trumpcare 2.0, 3.0, and so on,” he said.
“In any case,” Krugman concluded, “I’d like to make a plea to my colleagues in the news media: Don’t pretend that this is normal. Let’s not act as if that thing released on Wednesday, whatever it was, was something like, say, the 2001 Bush tax cut; I strongly disapproved of that cut, but at least it was comprehensible. Let’s not pretend that we’re having a real discussion of, say, the growth effects of changes in business tax rates.”
“No, what we’re looking at here isn’t policy; it’s pieces of paper whose goal is to soothe the big man’s temper tantrums. Unfortunately, we may all pay the price of his therapy,” he said.
(hat tip to AltnerNet)