Best of the Web

People Will Die!

The prospect of a competitive U.S. tax system triggers mass liberal hysteria.

Investors have been expressing every way they can that pending federal tax reform is good for economic growth, as each day seems to bring new signs of confidence about future U.S. prosperity. Now comes word of a buying binge happening in a part of the automotive sector. According to the Journal:

Trucking companies are bumping up orders for new big rigs, anticipating that 2018 will be a banner year for shipping demand.
Trucking fleets ordered 32,900 Class 8 trucks, the kind used on long-haul routes, in November, according to ACT Research, which compiles industry statistics. That was up about 70% from a year earlier.

Meanwhile in Washington, tax reform opponents are not simply expressing a less optimistic view of growth in 2018. It seems that some of them are expecting a mass extinction event. This week The Hill reports on an interesting forecast from the House Minority Leader:

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hammered the Republicans’ tax-code overhaul Monday evening as a culture-shaking economic “armageddon” that would haunt the working class for years to come.
Flanked by other top Democrats in the Capitol, the minority leader blasted Republicans for championing a tax proposal she equated to “the end of the world.”

Former Obama economic adviser Larry Summers for his part isn’t yet predicting that the result of a House-Senate tax compromise will inspire a wrathful God to annihilate humanity. But he’s more or less sticking with his prediction that at least some of humanity will be annihilated. This week he writes in the Washington Post:

I suggested on Friday when it became clear that the tax bill would pass that “thousands would die.” In light of my sharp criticism of other economists’ claims regarding the legislation, some have asked whether my statement is well grounded. I think it is, but this should be open to debate.

Mr. Summers offers various caveats along with his prediction of a mass-casualty legislative event. But he largely accepts the Congressional Budget Office’s guess that 13 million more people will choose not to enroll in government health plans if insurance is no longer required (Summers rounds the guess down to 10 million), and he basically credits his former colleague Kate Baicker’s research suggesting people are more likely to die if they are not enrolled in a health insurance plan.

Mr. Summers is not alone among ObamaCare defenders in wanting to persuade people that the number of people covered by government insurance is the true measure of health. But the vast expansion of such coverage engineered by his old boss doesn’t seem to have made Americans healthier.

Read today's full column »

ALSO ON THE EDITORIAL PAGE

OPINION VIDEOS

Advertisement

Unsubscribe Newsletters & Alerts Contact Us Privacy Policy Cookie Policy

SUBSCRIBE FOR FULL ACCESS TO WSJ.COM

SIGN UP FOR THIS NEWSLETTER

You are currently subscribed as tacsmith@sandiego.edu