by Anthony J. Ogorek Ed.D., CFP™
The Republican presidential candidates are debating their economic platforms and I have to say, they appear to be one delusional bunch. Their level of unsophistication is breathtaking. I don’t think their proposals would gain them a seat on a local school board, let alone the highest office in our land.
They must think that we are all rubes to trot out their proposals and think that they will not be exposed as the economic neophytes that they are. President Abraham Lincoln could have been referring to the current crop of Republican candidates’ platforms when he stated “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”
Let us see if we can set the record straight as to what needs to be done, compared with what is being proposed. First, government has overpromised. We are getting more government than we are willing to pay for and the difference is being added to our national debt on a daily basis. There are just three ways out of this mess: raise taxes, cut spending or grow the economy. In an election year the first two solutions are off the table. That leaves us with growing our economy.
The typical tonic proposed by most candidates is that by cutting taxes, people will have more money to spend, and this will increase economic output. They also believe that tax simplification, reducing the number of tax brackets from 7 to 3 will also prove to be a magic elixir. When these plans are scored by an independent group such as The Tax Foundation, these plans are exposed as highly effective in growing the national debt, rather than the economy.
Cutting taxes or simplifying the tax code will not accomplish much unless they are part of a verifiable coordinated plan to grow the economy. We have to look past the showmanship and personalities to discern which candidate has THE plan. That is what you should be listening for when you watch these debates.