Newt Gingrich has only good things to say about the tax bill soon to be passed by Congress. In Gingrich’s mind, the main battle now is not so much to pass the bill as to spread the good word — that is, to counter media complaints and convince the majority of Americans that they stand to benefit from its passage.

One of many complaints against media coverage of the bill is that the opposing side has received too much attention, that reporters do not complain enough about the economy under Obama, and conversely that they have not sufficiently praised the economy under Trump.

Newt Gingrich's four arguments in favor of tax reform

He has four points to make in favor of the bill. First, through it, President Trump fulfills his promise of drastically lowering the corporate tax rate. Second, the pass-through provision for small businesses is well liked. Third, the bill will increase jobs and help middle-class families. Finally, the bill will make doing taxes easier.

In my opinion, the fanfare overshadows the actual argument, which does not consist of any new reasons to believe that the Republican Tax Bill will do what they say it will, but only the lame repetition of the claim itself.

To the first point, it is no credit to someone that he fulfills a promise if his promise will not benefit me. The question is not whether President Trump will fulfill his promises, but whether he ought to have made them in the first place.

To the second point, Mr. Gingrich should address complaints that the pass-through provision can be abused by anyone capable of filing the paperwork to incorporate as a small business. He either needs to argue that individuals will not be able to do so, or that they will not have the motive to do so, or else that their doing so is a merit of the bill (as it further reduces the tax burden).

Simply citing that someone or other likes the idea is not proof that it is a good idea.

Newt Gingrich should spend more time selling supply-side economics

The third point, again, would have some merit if it were elaborated upon – but again, Mr. Gingrich does not even bother to address criticisms that whatever help middle-class families will receive is bound to expire, nor does he venture back into the fray of arguments for or against supply-side economics.

As this third point is the central burden of the Republican cause, Mr. Gingrich would do well to focus the majority of his editorial on this point. What must be answered are two questions: first, what kind of spending or investment, according to what we know, is most likely to stimulate the economy? Second, what reason do we have to believe that corporations, should the resources become available to them, will make such investments?

(There is a third question, little addressed, as to what type of stimulation is best, not only for the economy but in some more absolute sense – for human prosperity. But there is little interest in this last question. For example, whenever anyone says Bill X is a good bill because it will increase jobs, this last question is ignored: it is assumed that the best economy is the one that produces the most jobs and that there is nothing left to say on that score.)

Only when Republicans show the public how their tax bill will make the right resources available to the right people in the right circumstances, will we have any reason to believe them when they say the bill is for our benefit.

The rest is bluster and deflection.

It is ironic that for as much as he professes a desire to combat the media’s false narrative about the tax bill, Mr. Gingrich has so little to say in favor of it. But who needs an argument when you can rely on force? Republicans seem to determined to win the day not by persuasion but by sheer (or mere) numbers.

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