Let’s Do Better Than This - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Let’s Do Better Than This

From Trump’s interview on 60 Minutes Sunday (emphasis mine):

Scott Pelley: What’s your plan for Obamacare?

Donald Trump: Obamacare’s going to be repealed and replaced. Obamacare is a disaster if you look at what’s going on with premiums where they’re up 40, 50, 55 percent.

Scott Pelley: How do you fix it?

Donald Trump: There’s many different ways, by the way. Everybody’s got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say because a lot of times they say, “No, no, the lower 25 percent that can’t afford private. But—”

Scott Pelley: Universal health care.

Donald Trump: I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.

Scott Pelley: The uninsured person is going to be taken care of. How? How?

Donald Trump: They’re going to be taken care of. I would make a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people. And, you know what, if this is probably—

Scott Pelley: Make a deal? Who pays for it?

Donald Trump: —the government’s gonna pay for it. But we’re going to save so much money on the other side. But for the most it’s going to be a private plan and people are going to be able to go out and negotiate great plans with lots of different competition with lots of competitors with great companies and they can have their doctors, they can have plans, they can have everything.


Scott Pelley: Who are you going to raise taxes on?

Donald Trump: If you look at actually raise, some very wealthy are going to be raised. Some people that are getting unfair deductions are going to be raised. But overall it’s going to be a tremendous incentive to grow the economy and we’re going to take in the same or more money. And I think we’re going to have something that’s going to be spectacular.

Scott Pelley: But Republicans don’t raise taxes.

Donald Trump: Well, we’re not raising taxes.

Look, I actually like a lot of what Trump has done since getting in the race. He has taught the Republican Party, which is dominated in Washington by a horde of beta males and crying drunks, how to win news cycles again. Newt Gingrich was the last Republican holder of high office with a talent for consistently doing that.

And Trump has given voice to what a lot of people, myself included, believe — that this country is led by profoundly stupid people; educated stupid people, to be sure, but profoundly stupid nonetheless. You can’t look at a John Kerry and not see gross stupidity there, and his predecessor who thought it would be a good idea to store the nation’s state secrets on a server in a bathroom closet of a Denver apartment is a profoundly stupid individual as well.

And Barack Obama is stupid in a way historians will be poring over for millennia.

Trump has punctured the profound stupidity of political correctness, and we owe him for that. He has confounded our profoundly stupid media for four months, and we owe him for that as well.

But you can’t make the guy in the quotes above president.

Is Trump’s tax plan better than what we have? Sure. But why settle for his tax plan? Why settle for four tax brackets when we ought to have one?

Republicans ought to be demanding an end to progressive taxation in this country — a flat tax at minimum, with a potential move down the line to a consumption tax eventually if that can be done. We shouldn’t be settling for a simple whittling of tax brackets from seven to four. And we absolutely shouldn’t be exempting anyone from federal income tax while we have such a tax at all. We have far too many people in this country who don’t vote like taxpayers; how do you think a no-talent hack like Obama managed to become president?

Trump is fading. That’s obvious. He’s gone from polling in the 30s to polling at 21 in that survey released Monday. He’s still in the lead but Ben Carson is reeling him in, and Carson is less sustainable than Trump due to his lack of policy chops. That’s no particular attack on Carson, mind you; Carson is a brilliant man and an honest one, and his appeal is largely built on his lack of immersion in the vulgarities of public policy. It’s just difficult to stay above the fray through an entire election cycle and Carson ultimately will have to swim in tougher policy waters than just dunking the media over the laughable hypothetical of a Sharia Muslim American president.

Now Trump has taken to calling Marco Rubio . a clown, which is politically useless and ill-advised; if you want to attack Rubio you say that he’s bought and paid for by the same lobbyists who bought Jeb Bush, only they bought Rubio cheaper than Bush — and you bring up his mistaken association with the Gang Of Eight on that moronic “comprehensive” immigration plan. And you riff on that by saying that our politicians are profoundly stupid people who exacerbate their stupidity with the arrogance of thinking that they can solve all the nation’s problems on a particular set of issues by passing a “comprehensive” bill — something Rubio, “who’s, what? Twenty-eight years old? He looks 28, right?” was inexperienced or foolish enough to walk right into.

That would be a substantive critique of Rubio, and perhaps a devastating one. Mere schoolyard insults might titillate, but they won’t survive a full election cycle. Or even a news cycle; Rubio’s comeback to Trump, delivered on NPR of all places, was everything Bobby Jindal’s attacks on him were not; succinct, serious, and substantive.

The hope had been that Trump would broaden himself during this campaign and follow up his initial bluster and “he just said what needed to be said” appeal into a raft of policy advocacy showing himself to be a truly transformational figure in American politics bent on changing not just the stupid “gotcha” games we see played on the campaign trail but the direction of American government as a whole. What made Trump interesting was the possibility that, as a businessman, he would apply clear-eyed fiscal analysis and technological innovation to the leviathan and show the way for a 21st century model of government as destructive to the governmental status quo as his reality-TV campaign has been to the propaganda show that has been the media’s campaign coverage since Reagan left the stage.

But that simply hasn’t come to fruition, and at this point it doesn’t look like it will.

And reversing himself 180 degrees on taxes during the Pelley interview, after once again extolling socialized medicine, just shows that he’s not the guy.

The Democrats are flat on their backs in this cycle. When their first debate finally rolls around on October 13 it will become clear that none of their candidates could even survive at the GOP’s kids’ table. We have the opportunity to present the American people with a candidate who is unapologetically, nakedly, and provably conservative — and aggressive about it — and win in a rout reminiscent of at least 1968 or possibly even 1980. There are several such candidates in the field, possibly even including Carson and Carly Fiorina if they’re able to evolve over the primary season (Fiorina might not survive the vetting process, but she at least has some political skill and some useful chutzpah). This is not a Trump-vs.-Jeb race, and it never was.

We need to move on and vet the rest of these people. Trump is taking up too much oxygen.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics. He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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