June 1st, 2017
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Perhaps the most telling thing President Trump said in his rambling justification of his decision to pull out of the Paris accords on climate change wasn’t about climate change at all. It was, rather, about the speedy advance of his administration’s tax bill in the United States Congress.
-@POTUS: “Our tax bill is moving along in Congress and I believe it’s doing very well.” pic.twitter.com/3ydxrv7cbN
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) June 1, 2017
The thing about this is there is, literally, no tax bill.
No tax bill has been introduced to the US House of Representatives.
No tax bill has been introduced to the US Senate.
The White House has not released a tax plan that is detailed enough for experts to assess its economic or fiscal impact.
Indeed, just a week ago, Trump’s Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney explained that what most experts saw as a $2 trillion accounting mistake in the White House budget was actually deliberate.
“It is and was too early to make any assumptions about what the final tax bill looks like,” he told members of the House Budget Committee, and that’s why the proposal does not assume any fiscal cost of the tax legislation.
Trump has no idea what he’s talking about
This is, to me, the scariest aspect of Trump’s approach to issues like the Paris accords.
Reasonable people can disagree on a range of policy issues. In this particular case, the fairly overwhelming consensus among experts seems to be that Trump is making a huge mistake for the American economy and for American diplomacy and making it meaningfully harder for the world to address climate change. But for a contrary view, I would recommend this take from Oren Cass, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and domestic policy director for Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign.