During his appearance on the Kelly File last night, Guy Benson admitted that he’s been one of Donald Trump’s harshest critics before analyzing Mr. Trump’s tax plan. Benson summed things up neatly, saying “Well, I’m still not sure if I’m a fan of the demagoguing of the rich that he’s still doing. That’s something that we’ve grown accustomed to with President Obama and Elizabeth Warren and Paul Krugman and others but I’ve been a pretty unremitting critic of Donald Trump for awhile now and often I think he deserves those criticisms. But, look, I also call them like I see them and there’s a lot to like in this plan.”
By making those statements, which were totally fair, Benson preserved his credibility. That allowed him to question Trump’s conservatism, saying “The question is is he a trustworthy and credible conservative partner when it comes to a conservative governing project moving forward. That’s the sale that Trump has yet to make with people on the right.”
Michael Barone’s article should give conservatives pause before saying that Mr. Trump is a trustworthy partner:
Rockefeller was considered an establishment Republican, but he operated entirely, as the title of Richard Norton Smith’s magisterial and compelling biography of him says, “On His Own Terms.”
He was sometimes lavishly liberal (his Medicaid program spent one-quarter of national funds), sometimes harshly conservative (mandatory sentences for drug offenses). He spent enormous sums building Albany’s Capitol Mall and a state university system intended to rival California’s. He raised taxes so much that someone said he spends the people’s money as if it were his own.
After Mr. Stone said that there’s lots of waste in the federal budget, Benson responded, saying “Well, look, he’s a Donnie come lately to fiscal conservatism so I think we have to wait and see how he would pay for some of these things. And when we talk about balancing budgets, I’m not sure how we accomplish that with his tax plan and, from what we heard from Carl earlier, that health care plan, which is Obamacare on steroids.”
Anyone thinking that Trump is a fiscal conservative should honestly examine Trump’s statement on 60 Minutes, where he was asked about his health care plan. Trump said “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.”
The government doesn’t have money by itself. The only money it has is the money it collects from people. By saying that the government will pay for his health care plan, he’s telling people that they’ll pay for his health care plan.
That’s fiscally irresponsible. That isn’t being fiscally conservative.