By John McClaughry
Steve Moore and Jonathan Decker write in Investors Business Daily that the liberal predictions of a year ago about Trump’s likely catastrophic effect on the U.S. economy are looking ridiculous. After quoting half a dozen oh-so-smug-and-certain left-wing observers, the authors offer the most ridiculous of all. It’s from an October 2016 Washington Post editorial: “A President Trump Could Destroy the World Economy.”
“Just for the record,” the authors say, “the world economy is as strong today as it has been in at least a decade, as the Wall Street Journal recently reported. Now the left has to engage in logical contortions to explain how the red hot American economy is really a result of Obama policies — every which one Trump has systematically been at work dismantling.”
As I’ve acknowledged many times, the roaring stock market and the surging rate of growth of the economy (which is now estimated at 3.5%, up from 1.6% in Obama’s last year in office), could turn against Trump in the months and years to come. It’s quite possible that the market exuberance over Trump’s deregulation and tax cut policies have run too far ahead, though I’m predicting 3% to 4% growth for 2018 with the Trump tax cut kicking in. But what is certain at this point so far in Trump’s presidency is that anyone who sold stock on the basis of predictions by liberal ‘experts’ like Larry Summers or Paul Krugman or Steve Rattner missed out on a 30%-plus surge in their financial wealth.
If one can overlook Trump’s often stomach-churning narcissism, at the moment his presidency seems to have produced a big adrenaline shot for a relatively stagnant U.S. economy. Let’s hope it continues strong, while Trump and Congress start shrinking government spending to fit within revenues.
Climate Justice Alliance rejects carbon tax
Here’s an unexpected contribution to the carbon tax debate from the Climate Justice Alliance, which describes itself as ”a collaborative of over 50 community-based and movement support organizations uniting frontline communities to forge a scalable, and socio-economically just transition away from an extractive economy towards local living economies to address the root causes of climate change.” Their 32 page report published online is a well-informed piece of work, although I don’t agree with their final position.
This report, say its authors, “provides in-depth context to why carbon market systems will not mitigate climate change, will not advance adaptation strategies, will not serve the most vulnerable communities facing climate change impacts and only protect the fossil fuel industry and corporations from taking real climate action.”
Further, “Carbon taxes will always be low, be evaded, do not cut pollution to the degree needed, and are greenwash. Under the rubric of carbon pricing, these cap-and-trade, carbon offsets, carbon tax systems are false solutions that do not cut emissions at source, create toxic hot spots, and result in land grabs and violations of human rights and rights of Indigenous peoples in the forest regions of developing countries.”
Their one sentence remedy is: simply keep fossil fuels in the ground. Then we’re supposed to find other ways to heat our homes and businesses and transport ourselves to work and school and church. I have my doubts about that.
John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.