Trump’s Economic Plan: The Greatest or Statist?

By Austin Anderholt | USA

If you’ve been following Net Neutrality recently, you might have the idea that the Trump administration will stop at nothing to deregulate America’s economy, even if it means repealing regulations that are extremely unpopular among the American people. (What’s happening? You can see the whole story here). Millions of phone calls, emails, social media posts, and internet comments have been made in strong opposition of the repeal of this specific regulation, but the Trump administration doesn’t seem to bat an eye. Is Trump’s determination for deregulation great for libertarians? Is it terrible? Is there more to the story?

As we all know, Donald Trump is a capitalistic businessman who ran on the premise that we should “Make America Great Again!” From this, we can take it as no surprise that Trump is against strong economic regulation in the United States, but is very protectionist in his fiscal ideology.  

You’ve heard leftists talk about how Trump is “cutting taxes for the rich and the big corporations!”, and they wouldn’t be completely wrong. He plans to slash corporate tax into a fraction of its original size, slim the top tax bracket by about 4-10%, and abolish certain taxes altogether, many of which are only usually placed on the wealthy. Despite what’s on paper, he often brings very populist messages: 

“Our framework includes our explicit commitment that tax reform will protect low-income and middle-income households, not the wealthy and well-connected.”

-Donald J. Trump

The president has changed his mind on his tax policy so many times that it’s really up in the air if taxes for the average American will increase or decrease at all.  

Deregulation and potential tax drops are about all of the good news a Libertarian can get out of America’s future economy: 

As far as free trade, the Trump administration seems to be going boldly where no protectionist has gone before. The president has routinely used the phrase “America First” to describe his foreign and economic policy. He’s promised massive tariffs on imports, Chinese and otherwise. Some sources are predicting as many as 60,000 jobs lost as an indirect result of this harsh potential legislation. America may adapt with a strong sovereign economy, but considering the huge American demand for foreign resources, and the efficiency incentive that there is for companies to operate abroad, we won’t be seeing Trump’s chauvinistic fantasy to manifest anytime soon. Expect to be paying higher prices for your “MADE IN CHINA” American flag pins. If you’ve ever picked up an economics book, you’ll find that tariffs haven’t worked so well, but again, we’re seeing an economic agenda based on doubling down, with logic, public opinion, and second thoughts taking a backseat. 

In conclusion, President Trump’s economic policy will probably be an improvement from the last administration, but that’s hardly a compliment. We cannot confuse these chauvinistic deregulations and tariffs with libertarianism. I predict that his tariffs will fail, only raising demand for foreign goods, but his loosening of regulations is definitely a step in the right direction. It’s not exactly a libertarian utopia, but “Trumpenomics” may not end up as statist as we’ve imagined.