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Trump’s Tax Cut Flunks the Napkin Test:
A “D” Student’s Misreading of Economic Law

Greg Palast 

By Greg Palast for Truthout

A napkin can be a dangerous thing in the hands of fools. Especially when the D students sit in the Oval Office.

President Donald Trump’s mind-blowing $2 trillion tax cut, according to his Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, “Will pay for itself with growth.”

The storied economist John Maynard Keynes once said, “Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.”

The scribbler, in this case, is my old professor and mentor, Art Laffer. Famously, he did his scribblings on napkins, a corollary of his addiction to greasy cheeseburgers.

In 1974, over burgers at the University of Chicago student grill, he scribbled a curve on a napkin, illustrating a curiosity: the higher the tax rate, the lower the total tax collection. Or, turned around: a cut in taxes can pay for itself.

But, alas, Art told me, this economic magic trick only works …more