Pence Is An Economic Flat-Earther

In February, a month after taking the oath of office, Vice President Mike Pence stood in front of a massive piece of construction equipment and assured a friendly Missouri crowd that the GOP deliver tax cuts for corporations and wealthy Americans “before we get to this summertime.”

Pence still believes in trickle-down economics

They did not. But that failure hasn’t stopped Pence from becoming the public face of the White House’s backwards tax plan, which hinges on cutting income taxes for the highest earners, reducing the corporate tax rate and eliminating the estate tax — changes that would disproportionately help the richest Americans. The White House says the goal of the plan is to “grow the economy and create millions of jobs,” despite the reliance on the widely discredited theory of trickle down economics — a theory so thoroughly abandoned post-Reagan, invoking it now is as preposterous as floating a theory that the earth might be flat.

Pence’s budget cuts disproportionately hurt the poor and benefit the rich

The fight over tax reform begins this fall, just as Washington will be called on to pass a new budget. With GOP majorities in both houses of Congress, that would seem to be an easy task. But the White House tax plan, with its dramatic cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and services such as Meals on Wheels, is such a right wing fantasy that it faces a tough road to the President’s desk.

That’s where Pence comes in. He’s expected to play a “critical” role in the budget and tax battles on Capitol Hill. It should feel familiar after he led the Trump administration’s fight to repeal and replace Obamacare. In April, NBC News called him the White House’s “point person on health care reform” as the GOP fought to strip access from tens of millions of Americans. Pence failed when he couldn’t even get members of his own party to vote for its own bill. But he remains committed to cutting health care access, recently saying repeal of the Affordable Care Act “ain’t over by a long shot” and advocating for dumping the ACA without a replacement, which the Congressional Budget Office has said would be a disaster.

Pence believes in entitlements for corporations, but not for people who need them

Pence’s willingness to strip away social services and his dedication to supply side economics is no surprise to anyone who remembers his time as Indiana’s governor, a job he used to repeatedly give handouts to corporations while cutting spending for social programs. Pence bent over backwards to give millions in handouts to companies that went on to ship facilities and jobs overseas. Meanwhile, he was cutting money to higher education and infrastructure projects.

Even before arriving in the governor’s mansion, Pence’s poor judgment on economic policy was on display in Congress. He voted against the 2008 auto bailout, which rescued an industry that’s now booming in Indiana, and opposed President Obama’s stimulus bill, which prevented a second recession. In 2009, then-Congressman Pence said the stimulus, which saved 1.6 million jobs a year for four years straight, would not “put Americans back to work.”

“The only thing it will stimulate is more government and more debt,” he said, once again demonstrating that his stubborn commitment to wrongheaded ideology is more important than the livelihoods of his constituents.