Listening to Trump’s chief economic adviser Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin revealing their tax cut package during a briefing at the White House today ( I know, torture time…), I heard the following response by Secretary Mnuchin to a question about whether or not Trump would sign the legislation if wasn’t deficit neutral:
“…when we look at the deficits, and the deficit has gone from 10 to 20 trilion dollars in the last administration…”
At this point I realized just how fucked we are, when the Treasury Secretary of the U.S. doesn’t know the difference between the national debt and a deficit (or maybe he is too intellectually sloppy to articulate the difference, or is such a poor communicator he can’t think on his feet). Basic Economics 101 stuff. A deficit or surplus is the measurement (usually annually) of how out of balance the budget is — income and expenses. The national debt is an aggregate of annual deficits or surpluses over time.
While there are many different ways to look at debt and deficits (and Steve K. has had some interesting posts on that at Piece of Mind lately), and we can argue about them till the cows come home, when the person in charge of the nation’s finances (outside of the Fed — and that’s a whole ‘nother story) is not coherent enough to use the proper wordage in what will become another huge battle in Congress — tax “reform” — how can we trust any of the other words he/they use?
Obviously we can’t, which is why everything we see and hear in public is nothing more than a charade for the public and the media to focus on while the real looting goes on behind a smokescreen. Those people are idiots and tools, and they take us for less than idiots.