Anchorage newspaper subscribes to trickle-down economics

In its endorsement of the new Republican tax plan, the Binkley-owned Anchorage Daily News has given readers a glimpse of its editorial position—a clear belief that the best way to benefit society is to cut taxes on the wealthy and businesses, so that the benefits will trickle down to the general population in time.

The newspaper offered false equivalents about the tax bill, claiming that opponents and supporters were essentially in two equal camps, each "armed with charts and reports."

One camp said the tax bill would increase the deficit by $1.4 trillion over a decade. The other camp said the tax bill would lead to economic growth that would wipe out any debt. 

If you believe the owners of the Anchorage Daily News, the two camps cancel each other out and it all comes down to whether we trust our Congressional delegation.

But it's false to portray the two camps as equal.

One camp is best represented by the Congressional Budget Office, which exists to give nonpartisan advice to members of Congress, and the Joint Committee on Taxation, a nonpartisan group with a professional staff that works with members of both parties.

These two organizations estimate that the new tax law will "reduce revenues by about $1,649 billion and decrease outlays by about $194 billion over the period from 2018 to 2027, leading to an increase in the deficit of $1,455 billion over the next 10 years." Stated another way, the deficit total is $1.4 trillion, a number arrived at through a detailed policy analysis.

The other camp is best represented by the Trump administration, which produced a one-page document with no backup to show that the debt is not a concern. The one-page report says that if economic growth rates are much higher than expected by the experts, the problem goes away. This is not economic analysis. It is a one-page press release.

The CBO growth rates are based on models and projections. The Trump growth rates are based on wishful thinking.

The Anchorage Daily News could do Alaskans a service by examining the folly of substituting wishful thinking for the work of nonpartisan professionals and claiming the two are identical.

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Dermot Cole3 Comments