That was then, this is now

Consider the following:

Last year they [older evangelicals] flipped from being the voter group most likely to say personal morality mattered in a president, to being the group least likely to say that.

I wonder why?

Or consider this:

Negotiations were still under way on Capitol Hill early this week as Kevin Brady, chair of the House ways and means committee, spearheads work on complex calculations to stay within the limits Congress set for the legislation — an increase in the deficit of no more than $1.5tn over 10 years.

So let me get this straight.  We had a deficit of $666 billion in FY2017 (the work of the devil), and we are in the 9th year of an economic expansion, and consumer confidence is at a 17-year high, and unemployment is 4.2%, and demographics point to rapid growth in the national debt in future decades, and the GOP in its infinite wisdom has decided that now is a good time for another $1.5 trillion expansion in our national debt, on top of the currently unsustainable trajectory?

Remind me about how awful the Obama deficits were?  Freedom Caucus?  Tea Party?  Anyone?

We need tax reform, not tax cuts.

PS.  I enjoyed this—thought you might too:

In a speech, John McCain said the following:

“To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain “the last best hope of earth” for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems, is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.”

That’s a mouthful of a sentence — and an excellent one. But not according to another Arizona Republican, Kelli Ward. John McCormack of The Weekly Standard reported on a campaign event of hers. She said she would Make America Great Again by serving “as a conservative, as a populist, as an Americanist, as a scurrilous nationalist.”

John McCain and Jeff Flake are the old GOP.  It look like scurrilous nationalists such as Kelli Ward are the new face of the Republican Party.  I wonder what Lincoln would think of the fact that it’s now Republicans that view people like Robert E. Lee as patriots.

And let’s not forget Alabama’s embarrassing Roy Moore, who is being endorsed by the so-called “libertarian” leaning GOP senators such as Paul, Cruz and Lee:

“Moore’s attitudes toward homosexual citizens goes far beyond merely not wanting them to have ‘special rights,’ ” wrote Reason’s Brian Doherty, a biographer of the Paul family. “Moore, as he declared from the bench in the that 2002 case, believes all American homosexuals who have a sex life in line with their preferences are for that very reason criminals. The Paul endorsement is a depressing sign of how much personal liberty America’s political class, even the supposedly freedom-oriented ones, are willing to give up in exchange for lip service to tax cuts.”

A GOP that fails to do tax reform, but embraces bigots like Moore is not a pretty sight.  But that’s where we are today.



13 Responses to “That was then, this is now”

  1. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    31. October 2017 at 11:22

    Yes, it’s a disgrace.

  2. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    31. October 2017 at 13:45

    I think you’ve advocated in the past for
    – putting debt and equity on equal footing,
    – a progressive consumption tax,
    – reduction or elimination of capital gains taxes,
    – elimination of the estate tax,
    – elimination of the the ATM,
    – elimination of the the marriage penalty,
    – dropping the corporate tax,
    – removal of state and local tax deductions

    But I didn’t find a comprehensive list anywhere on your site. I’d just like to make sure I understand what you’re advocating for when you say we need tax reform.

  3. Gravatar of Floccina Floccina
    31. October 2017 at 14:03

    Yes I am very disappointed in evangelicals and people in general.

    What happened to conservatives who used to want a balanced budget and spending cuts before tax cuts?

    John McCain is too hawkish in foreign policy for me. In the post USSR era, I don’t see the need for the kind of international leadership I think he is talking about,except as an example.

  4. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    31. October 2017 at 15:08

    Wow; Sumner, I didn’t know you were such a big fan of the U.S. military, NATO expansion, and the Iraq War. But it’s a logical consequence of your love for everything establishment except in regards to the stuff you know.

    Flake and McCain are the old GOP. The old GOP was sadly inadequate. I’m glad they’ll soon be out.

    We need both tax reforms and tax cuts. But also, we need spending cuts, and Rand Paul was the only Republican to stand up for those.

  5. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    31. October 2017 at 15:10

    Also, Roy Moore probably has not gone far enough in his attitudes to homosexuality. As we know, if the left is given an inch, it’ll take a mile. I’m tired of subversion of the foundations holding up America in the service of accommodation to homosexuality. I, like Paul, Cruz, and Lee, support Moore for Senate (though I’m not his biggest fan, of course), mostly because Doug Jones is not deserving of the position.

  6. Gravatar of B Cole B Cole
    31. October 2017 at 16:15

    Well, good post but has overseas interventionism worked?

    Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Niger…even Burkino Faso, the former Upper Volta.

    Our foreign-policy military establishment appears to insist that expeditions be fantastically expensive and counterproductive.

  7. Gravatar of BC BC
    31. October 2017 at 18:47

    “We need tax reform, not tax cuts.”

    In interviews of tax reform architects and proponents, I am starting to hear questioning along the lines of, “Can you guarantee that no one is going to end up paying more tax under your proposals?” Somehow, we are supposed to make revenue neutral reforms without increasing *anyone’s* taxes. This comes up in discussing eliminating the SALT deductions, for example. Public choice at work.

  8. Gravatar of Mark Mark
    31. October 2017 at 21:32

    “We need tax reform, not tax cuts.”
    I think we should want both, ultimately. Not sure in what sense we ‘need’ either one but not the other.

    And, sorry Scott, but mentioning John McCain is not the way to go if you want to conjure up memories of the ‘good old GOP.’ McCain embodies the worst parts of the GOP (warmongering, unlimited surveillance, never ending defense spending) and many of the worst aspects of the Dems (e.g. ambivalence toward freedom of speech). We should dread rather than relish the prospect of more ‘McCainism’ in the GOP.

    Other than that, I’m not sure exactly what the overarching point is. You have Trump on the one hand, and Moore on the other. One is a revanchist theocrat, the other is a multi-divorced lech who waved a gay pride flag at the Republican national convention. What it says to me is that this is a party in a deep state of confusion that is spastically trying to lurch in several different directions at once. I think it will be at least several years before we can confidently prognosticate on the future of the GOP.

  9. Gravatar of Mark Mark
    31. October 2017 at 21:38

    “Also, Roy Moore probably has not gone far enough in his attitudes to homosexuality. As we know, if the left is given an inch, it’ll take a mile. I’m tired of subversion of the foundations holding up America in the service of accommodation to homosexuality.”

    Aren’t you an atheist? Atheists for Roy Moore. Fun times we live in. Tempted as I am to inquire about your theory as to how sodomy is subverting America, I feel I should avoid opening that Pandora’s box.

  10. Gravatar of Mark Mark
    31. October 2017 at 21:39

    *Last comment was addressed E. Harding. Forgot to mention who the quote is from.

  11. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    1. November 2017 at 07:30

    Not sure why people assume that I agree with McCain on foreign policy. Where did I say that . . .

  12. Gravatar of Mark Mark
    1. November 2017 at 14:52

    Juxtaposing one individual favorably to another invites criticism of the former.

  13. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    3. November 2017 at 20:18

    Mark, I have no problem with people criticizing McCain. Just don’t assume that I agree with McCain’s position on every issue. He’s more of an interventionist than I am.

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