Alex Jones went on about his “sources” telling him that someone at the White House is drugging Donald Trump, which would explain his continual incoherence, but he didn’t identify the culprit. But Roger Stone says it may be Chief of Staff John Kelly.
ALEX JONES (HOST): By what time — when people are talking to him, at what times is [Trump] slurring his words?
ROGER STONE: He is slurring his words on various times, and that’s what’s concerning. Let’s be very clear: I have a source at The New York Times, a reporter who expressed to me a concern that in a conversation they had on the phone with the president that he was slurring his words. The president does not drink. The president certainly does not do drugs. The president is sharp as a tack. Now, let’s give some credibility to —
JONES: Let me stop you. Let me stop you. When I’ve had conversations with him it’s like he’s speaking like an actor. It’s so precise and so smooth, exactly, then you hear he’s slurring his words. It’s like, “Woah.”
STONE: Now, in the president’s defense, could he be exhausted? Yeah, he works very hard for the country. He is passionate about his desire for an economic revival, for a boom. He said it to me, “Wait and see. You’ll see. When I get my 15 percent tax rate this economy is going to cook like nothing you’ve ever seen, it will be the greatest advance in job creation this country’s ever seen.” He is deeply committed and passionate about this. But I have now heard not from one, but two different sources, that he seemed disoriented and was slurring his speech in conversations. To me this is a tip off that he may be being medicated. Is General [John] Kelly above this? No.
Okay, that’s dumb. But I want to focus on this claim that if corporate income taxes are lowered to 15%, the economy would soar “like nothing you’ve ever seen.” We can look at history and see if there is a correlation between low corporate marginal tax rates and economic growth. Guess what? There isn’t. If anything, there’s an inverse relationship. Here are the corporate tax rates by year and here is American GDP growth by year. That rate has been at 15% or lower before several times. Like in 1929, when the Great Depression began, it was at 11% and it stayed at 15% or below for the next decade.The corporate tax rate started going up in 1940, when it was 25% for the first $25,000 in income and went to 53% after that. This was a period of massive economic growth, but it was brought on by war spending, of course. It had nothing to do with the corporate tax rates. Throughout the 1950s, the initial rate was at least 23%, with a surcharge that went as high as 52% for those above $50,000. This was a decade of high economic growth as well.
In 1981, Reagan cut the rate and we promptly went in to a recession. This didn’t happen because the rate was cut, of course; the point is that there are other factors that are far more important that determine economic growth. The availability of credit, for instance, is far more important and that is what was restricted that led to the recession, as Fed Chairman Paul Volcker jacked up interest rates enormously to get inflation under control.
The truth is that monetary policy has a far greater effect on the economy than fiscal or tax policy, and there are many other important variables as well. So the notion that dropping the corporate tax rates is going to unleash a flood of economic growth is just nonsense. But it’s become more than a policy preference for Republicans. It’s practically a mantra at this point, chanted in rhythmic incantations — tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts — as if merely saying it three times will make the economy magically grow, as if spurred by the planting of enchanted beans.
Indeed, it’s pretty much the only policy they have for every domestic problem. In the last week I have seen it offered as a solution to hurricanes and to the racial turmoil in the country.