It may be difficult to believe right now, but eventually the nightmare will be over. The race for the presidency will end, and we will be free of the daily media diet of who is ahead, who is behind, and who might get ahead as others falter. Time and again right now, the bulk of the media - across the entirety of the political spectrum -- focus entirely on the race, in the process distracting us from the course over which the race is being run. But when the race is over, reconstructing/improving that course will be the over-riding task facing whoever wins. So can we please start talking now, in a systematic way, less about the candidates and more about their programs?
Even former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke has been irked by right wing conservatives for doing just the thing that most conservative economists, such as Martin Feldstein, and even arch-free market theorist Milton Friedman, said was the right thing to do during recessions--inject more money into the economy.
These Republicans (Trump included) seem totally in agreement that progressive taxation is less effective than light taxation; that it is the scale of public spending and debt which is holding back economic growth, and that it is the burden of taxation to sustain that spending which currently is the key barrier to the generation of private sector-based enterprise and employment.
Roosevelt understood that people who feel they have an economic future and a sense of stability are more able to spend money and participate in our consumer-driven economy. That means more business and more profits for companies selling all sorts of goods and services. Sooner or later, even the CEOs benefit. Call it "trickle-up" economics.
The New York Times reported last week that in the closed-door Republican Senate Caucus retreat, Republican Leader Senator Mitch McConnell "encouraged the Republican troops to refocus policy on the stagnant middle class." That would be like asking the wolves of the world to stop hunting and refocus on cultivating asparagus.
According to reports, one of the first acts of the Republican Congress will be to fire Doug Elmendorf, current director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, because he won't use "dynamic scoring" for his economic projections. Dynamic scoring is the magical-mystery math Republicans have been pushing since they came up with supply-side "trickle-down" economics. It's based on the belief that cutting taxes unleashes economic growth and thereby produces additional government revenue. Supposedly the added revenue more than makes up for what's lost when Congress hands out the tax cuts. Dynamic scoring would make it easier to enact tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, because the tax cuts wouldn't look as if they increased the budget deficit.