Op-Ed: Chris Chocola: Trump is not an option for conservatives
IMAGINE it’s 2013. The President is sworn in. The national debt is still in the trillions of dollars. The new President proposes what he calls a “one-time, 14.25 percent tax on individuals and trusts with a net worth over $10 million.” He claims that that this new, $7.14 trillion tax hike will go towards paying down our national debt and enable us to fix Social Security.
If you think that the President is Barack Obama still, you’re wrong. That’s the exact proposal, with the size of the tax hike adjusted for inflation, made by Donald Trump in his 2000 book “The America we Deserve.”
Some in the media have worked themselves up into a lather over the possibility of a Trump candidacy for President. They shouldn’t: Donald Trump has taken policy positions that will make it impossible for him to win over conservatives in a Republican primary.
Trump’s tax hike on net worth is destructive, and even worse when you consider that he made this proposal before the implementation of the Bush tax cuts. A tax on net worth of this magnitude would cripple small-businessmen who are making capital investments, would cause a massive stock sell-off and would, conservatively speaking, have other catastrophic effects on growth.
But that’s not all.
What potential Presidential candidate once said: “We must have universal healthcare. Our objective [should be] to make reforms for the moment and, longer term, to find an equivalent of the single-payer plan that is affordable, well-administered, and provides freedom of choice.”
That’s Trump again, right after he dubbed himself a “liberal on health.” Every conservative knows that a single-payer plan is code for government-run health care that takes away choice of doctors from Americans, will lead to massive tax increases, and lower the quality of care. Trump's plan was to the left of even "Obamacare," which the next president ought to repeal upon taking office."
Trump even hewes to some of the worst, protectionist orthodoxy that would make the far-left blush. He’s said that he’d “love to have a trade war with China” (a job-killer), that he wants a 25 percent tax on all Chinese imports” (another job-killer), and he opposed NAFTA (a job-creator). No true believer in free markets would ever take such positions, but the Donald has.
Who said the following in 1999: “I said I'm conservative, generally speaking, I'm conservative, and even very conservative. But I'm quite liberal and getting much more liberal on health care and other things.”
That’s right, it’s a chameleon who’ll say anything to get attention, but not a serious candidate for the Presidency. The next Presidents’ expertise should be in promoting pro-growth policies that lead to jobs and economic growth, and not someone whose expertise is promoting himself.
Chris Chocola, a former Indiana Congressman, is President of the The Club for Growth.