Columns » Hightower

The Economic Report of the President paints a rosier picture than reality




It's shocking that some millionaires and billionaires would brazenly lie and cheat to weasel their undeserving children into prestigious colleges, displacing more qualified students. Where do these privileged ones get the idea that truth doesn't matter, that they can just make up facts and corrupt the whole system for their personal advantage?

Try the "Economic Report of the President," issued only a week after the college admissions scandal made the news. The report is shamelessly grandiose, replete with flagrant fabrications of facts and fraudulent claims of achievement.

In particular, it tries to pass off Trump's 2017 trillion-dollar corporate tax break as a mighty engine of growth for the working class. The Trumpsters insist that their massive tax giveaway is producing a surge in corporate investment that creates jobs and pay hikes. Only... there's been no investment surge. Corporate chieftains simply pocketed Trump's handout.

The Trump report even has a dandy chart of deception with a bright line streaking upward to show the economic impact of his bold infrastructure plan. The graphic would be more convincing if he had actually proposed such a plan. When leaders lie so blatantly for their own gain, we can't be surprised that other narcissists take it as moral permission to do the same.

The White House Council of Economic Advisers forecast essentially claims Trumps' economic policies will achieve magical growth and prosperity for the people in perpetuity. Never mind that most of his policy proposals aren't even being considered. The Council's report is so fantastical that student interns who worked on it slipped in such comic book names as Batman, Captain America and Spider-Man, citing them for helping prepare it!

The report also reveals that Trump & Company are quietly pushing a radical right-wing deregulation agenda under the ruse of stimulating economic growth. For example, it calls for eliminating minimum safety and educational standards for operators of child care centers, complaining that such regulations to protect children can "increase the cost of obtaining care, thus serving as a disincentive [for parents] to work." Yeah, just shoo the little tykes into unregulated corporate pig pens, so mom and dad can work minimum-wage jobs, thus boosting corporate profits all-around.

Meanwhile, the president's economists admit that the only way they can get America's economic growth above a dismal 2 percent a year is for Congress to make two big changes: 1) roll back labor rules that protect America's workers from corporate exploitation, and 2) pass another round of even deeper tax cuts for corporations and billionaires, since the 2017 cuts didn't work.

Trump's economic report is not written by superheroes like Batman, but by Goofy, Dracula and Scrooge.

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