The headline in the National Review intrigued me, "More Economic Nonsense from Trump."
Let's see, a magazine that lost $25 million in its first 50 years and still survives thanks to the charity of others ("Help celebrate National Review’s 60th birthday with a generous gift to support our writers and editors who provide America and the world with vital and impactful conservative commentary, analysis, and reporting.") calls nonsense the economic advice of a man who took a few million dollars worth of property, and turned it into a multi-billion-dollar international family enterprise that employs 34,000 people.
The author of the piece was Jared Meyer, who works at another charity -- the tax-exempt Manhattan Institute. ("Jared Meyer is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute. His research interests include microeconomic theory and the economic effects of government regulations. Meyer — who also publishes and presents on the need for a moral foundation for free markets — is a regular contributor to the Washington Examiner, Federalist, Forbes.com, Townhall.com, RealClearEnergy, e21, and City Journal.")
Jared Meyer is part of the Conservative Commentariat in DC that is as detached from Flyover Country as the limousine liberals are. Conservatives in the non-profit sector do not understand capitalism. It is outside their ken.
Tucker Carlson, head of the Daily Caller -- which actually has to make money and does -- has been calling out the consultancy class for some time, including this exchange on WMAL radio on March 18, 2013:
LARRY O'CONNOR: Just a quick follow up because you're making it sound like this is really a battle over money. Are you saying those nonprofits are hammering consultants like Karl Rove because they don't like all that money being donated to -- to the consultants instead of going to the nonprofits?
CARLSON: I'm saying they ought to take the plank out of their eye before they point out the speck in their neighbors, I guess is what I'm really saying. I mean, I think there are a lot of really sincere, decent conservatives working in nonprofits, I know them, of course. I don't want to make a blanket indictment. However, they as a group have achieved virtually nothing in the last thirty years. I know, because I've lived here. And look at the results. Our taxes are higher, more people are pro-choice. I mean -- you know, like all their stated goals have not been achieved. And they've consumed a huge amount of money doing it, so it's time for some serious soul-searching. And for those people to get up and start screaming about how other people are wasting money and aren't sincere and are cynical, I mean, it's nauseating. To me, I'm not a consultant or an employee of a nonprofit so I think I can see it with some clarity, there are a lot of parasites on the, you know, on conservatism.Now the context here is that Carlson was not calling out the National Review or any other subsidized publication. However he was calling out Mister Meyer's employer and similar think tanks. And certainly I am not attacking the National Review; I merely point out my reluctance in taking economic advice from a publication that has not shown a profit in its 60 years.
Now for the irony, Jared Meyer supports lowering the corporate income tax, which by virtue of their status of living by the handout, neither the National Review nor the Manhattan Institute pay.
The double irony is that Trump actually agrees, "No business of any size, from a Fortune 500 to a mom and pop shop to a freelancer living job to job, will pay more than 15% of their business income in taxes. This lower rate makes corporate inversions unnecessary by making America’s tax rate one of the best in the world."
I would get rid of the corporate tax entirely -- as well as any and all corporate tax credits, subsidies, and non-bid handouts such as Planned Parenthood's annual stipend. The net loss would be about $250 billion, which could be made up by ending some of the tax credits to individuals. Why should I pay for your solar panels?
But the broader point is Trump's "economic nonsense" about not blindly accepting unfair trade practices from China and not blindly accepting illegal immigration as good for the economy.
Because maybe -- just maybe -- the conservative dogma on the economy built by conservatives at their non-profits is as out of touch as the socialist dogma crafted by liberals at their non-profits.