Forbes federal budget expert condemns GOP tax bill: ‘The end of all economic sanity in Washington’
Forbes contributor Stan Collender, an expert who has spent his career working with the federal budget, warned over the weekend that the Republican tax bill would be a disaster for the American economy.
In a piece published on Sunday, Collender argues that “the GOP tax cut now working its way through Congress will be the start of a decades-long economic policy disaster unlike any other that has occurred in American history.”
According to Collender, there is “no economic justification whatsoever for a tax cut at this time.”
U.S. GDP is growing, unemployment is close to 4 percent (below what is commonly considered “full employment”), corporate profits are at record levels and stock markets are soaring. It makes no sense to add any federal government-induced stimulus to all this private sector-caused economic activity, let alone a tax cut as big as this one.
Collender, who worked on both the House and Senate Budget Committees, says that the economy is ripe for raising additional tax revenue.
“But by damning the economic torpedoes and moving full-speed ahead, House and Senate Republicans and the Trump White House are setting up the U.S. for the modern-day analog of the inflation-producing guns-and-butter economic policy of the Vietnam era,” he writes. “The GOP tax bill will increase the federal deficit by $2 trillion or more over the next decade (the official estimates of $1.5 trillion hide the real amount with a witches brew of gimmicks and outright lies) that, unless all the rules have changed, is virtually certain to result in inflation and much higher interest rates than would otherwise occur.”
“In other words, if the GOP tax bill is enacted, Congress and the president this year will give up almost all ability to deal with the U.S. economy for at least a decade even when, as almost certainly will happen, there’s a downturn,” he adds. “No one else will be able to fulfill this role.”
“That’s almost a textbook definition of economic insanity.”