NEW YORK, Oct. 4, 2015 – Donald Trump dominated the Sunday talk shows today as the featured interview at the top of both NBC’s “Meet the Press” and ABC’s “This Week.” He was grilled by both hosts over his tax plan, his commentary on Syria and his future in the race for the GOP presidential nomination.
On taxes Trump repeatedly defended his proposals in the face of skeptical questioning from Chuck Todd and George Stephanopolous, who cited estimates that his tax plan would produce record deficits.
Trump emphasized that his plan would stimulate economic growth in the 4 percent range or higher, consistently pointing out that without economic growth the country is on an unsustainable budgetary track and risks fiscal collapse.
He pointed out the costs of the death tax to family farms and small businesses, who are unable to pass on these businesses intact to heirs because of estate taxes, which unfairly cripple them, decimating family farms and destroying family businesses.
He emphasized the end of carried interest and large deductibles for the rich, in favor of a simpler streamlined tax structure of three income rates, a 20 percent business tax and a tax holiday of 10 percent for some $3 trillion in corporate profits kept overseas.
He railed against corporate inversions and the flight of corporate entities overseas, and he cited the need to be competitive in business tax rates. He was adamant that stimulating growth would produce much greater government revenue at the same time that reduced taxes and increased cash flow would stimulate greater economic activity with a higher multiplier effect.
The return of overseas capital of $3 trillion would alone provide enormous private sector economic stimulus for activity and growth, however it is spread. Whether as investment, stock buybacks or dividends to shareholders, it would be a prima face $3 trillion injection into the economy and a $300 billion windfall for the government.
Trump also promised to cut spending and waste in government, a promise met with skepticism from both hosts. Yet it has been pointed out that just eliminating zero-based budgeting alone, which automatically increases government spending by 6 percent a year, would stop the growth of government spending and the debt trajectory.
Trump implied that there would be cuts in whole departments and business efficiencies brought to procurement and spending. As he put it in previous interviews, “It’s called management.”
Trump remains at the top of the polls at 24 percent in both Iowa and New Hampshire and continues to draw large crowds and large ratings for the cable networks and Sunday news shows.
Trump joked that he wasn’t sure if the big ratings for last Sunday’s “60 Minutes” was because of him or Vladimir Putin and asserted that Putin’s stepped-up involvement in Syria was a result of the chaos created by the Obama administration and that at this point he almost welcomed the Russians’ presence.
It was clear Trump had the American economy on his mind, first and foremost. He was detailed and less bombastic as he asserted that business and economic growth are what his wheelhouse is and what needs to be emphasized to change the trajectory of the economy and government spending.
He repeatedly defended his tax policies with specifics, and when pushed on his commitment to the presidential race made the point that he was winning in the polls and connecting with the voters.
When pressed on whether he would leave the race if his numbers dropped, Trump was nonplussed, replying that he was not a “masochist” and if his poll numbers tanked it would be because he was no longer connecting with the American people.
For the time being that doesn’t seem to be the case, and Trump gave no indication that he thought he was going anywhere anytime soon as he continued to dominate yet another Sunday talk show news cycle.