Paul Krugman: The GOP's Biggest Con Man Isn't Donald Trump

News & Politics

During an appearance on "The Ingraham Angle" Thursday, Donald Trump told host Laura Ingraham that, "There's a great popularity for what we're doing in this country. They want it. They need it. They have to have it."

But if new polling is any indication, the GOP's newest tax proposal is wildly unpopular, and the American people neither want nor need it, much less have to have it.

In his Friday column, Paul Krugman warns this is what happens when you hand federal government over to the country's biggest con man. No, not Donald Trump—Paul Ryan, who has successfully duped the media establishment into believing he's some kind of policy wonk. For evidence of his fraud, one need look no further than House Republicans' so-called tax reform bill, which appears as slapdash, ill-conceived and just plain cruel as the GOP's attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

"What we’re witnessing now is the end of the charade," Krugman writes. "The political equivalent of what happened when graduates of Trump University tried to get some value in return for their money."

Details remain murky—House Republicans have introduced the legislation without a single hearing or meaningful independent analysis—but a few things are known. The bill's proposed tax cuts disproportionately benefit multinational corporations, foreign investors and the country's wealthiest families, which just so happen to include the Trumps. It also "[blows] a multitrillion-dollar hole in the budget," offset only in part by a 250 percent tax hike on millions of Americans.

Krugman is dubious the legislation passes the House much less the Senate, which prompts the question: Why are Republicans doing this? And why are they even considering tax cuts for the rich when the U.S. is running a deficit in the trillions?

"The answer," he continues, "is that this week’s debacle was predictable from the moment, more than seven years ago, that Ryan began establishing himself as a media darling by publishing impressive-looking blueprints for fiscal reform with titles like 'Roadmap for America’s Future.'"

"Most Americans realize that Donald Trump is a very bad president," Krugman concludes. "They need to realize that his party’s congressional leadership is pretty awful, too."

Read Paul Krugman's column at the New York Times.

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