But first …
REPUBLICANS SUSCEPTIBLE TO “OVERPROMISING” POLS
By Steven R. Maher
“If you’re going to live a good life, you’ve got to live within your income.” – President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Treasury Secretary George Humphrey
“Through his time in office, he [Humphrey] insisted that the government do just that. He fought profligate spending, irritating liberals and imprudent tax cuts, to the annoyance of conservatives.” – From “Eisenhower: The White House Years,” by Jim Newton.
Recently, I was watching a talk show and heard one Republican pundit say that Trump “overpromised” on health insurance during his candidacy for the Presidency.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump repeatedly promised that his replacement for Obamacare (some call it “Trumpcare”) would allow everyone to choose their own doctor and medical plan; would cost less money; increase benefits and make available universal coverage to all Americans.
How was such a miracle to be accomplished?
Basically, through the miracle of the marketplace. Trump vowed he would make insurance rates go down and make health insurance benefits go up by increasing competition of insurance companies by allowing insurers to sell their policies across state lines.
“Believe me,” Trump would say after promising how much better a program than Obamacare, Trumpcare would be.
Trump later backed off from these pledges, saying health care was more “complicated” than he had anticipated.
Susceptible to this?
Why did so many of Trump’s supporters believe this?
I’m beginning to believe that Republican voters are particularly susceptible to demagogic appeals. We saw this with “Supply Side” economics. Under this highfalutin theory, Congress could cut taxes, increase military spending and balance the budget – all at the same time. Try doing this with your personal life. You will find yourself in bankruptcy court. Granted, you will live high off the hog, eating caviar, filet mignon and lobster to your heart’s content – right up to the point where you run out of credit cards and the bondholders decide to cut you off.
Unfortunately – or rather fortunately, given who is in the White House – there is no Chapter 11 under which nations can default on their debt.
Someday the United States will have to balance its budget. Better that we do it now ourselves, rather than wait until America’s creditors force us to do it.
Republicans used to be the party of fiscal rectitude, wearing the old green shade accounting hats as they counted beans. They threw away those sensibilities when they adopted the fraud known as “Supply Side” economics. Now they are throwing the baby out with the bathwater with Trumpcare.
The Republicans won’t be the party of common-sense economics, like Dwight Eisenhower, until they give up “supply side” economics and “Trumpcare.”