The disconnect between Nevada GDP and income, and other stuff Trump will never get

In 2015, Nevada’s gross domestic product was 9 percent bigger than it was in 2008 but median household income was 5 percent smaller. Both those measurements are in current dollars, that is, not adjusted for inflation.

When adjusted for inflation, Nevada’s state GDP in 2015 was nearly 5 percent smaller than it was in 2008. But median household income was 14.2 percent smaller.

Previewing his plans to stand before Congress Tuesday night and say things that will be walked back by his minions later Tuesday night, the idiot savant occupying the White House visited the comfort of a Fox News studio Tuesday morning. He gave himself an A+ for effort and a C for messaging, which seems odd, in that messaging is the area in which the idiot is a savant.

But on a more substantive (a word used very loosely here) note, Trump said he will tell Congress to really, really jack up military spending, and also pass a so-called infrastructure program that, when last anyone checked, appeared designed primarily to upgrade the nation’s already robust grifting-industrial-complex.

And how will these needless and pernicious, respectively, things be paid for? “If I can get [growth] up 3 [percent] or maybe more, we have a whole different ballgame,” the president said. “That’s what we’re looking to do.”

Faith in trickle-down and Laffer curves has been a staple of Republican economic “thinking” for the entirety of my adult life (none of your business; long). And the accompanying faith in the power of economic growth to cure whatever ails anything and everything in the known universe and probably all the alternative ones too has become so routine for so long that Democrats, including (especially?) Nevada Democrats, unthinkingly accept it.

Let’s humor the idiot savant and assume economic growth were to reach 3 percent. The Nevada growth and income measurements provided above are echoes of the nation’s, and what they reflect is a late-20th and early 21st century economy that fails to distribute wealth to most households. If economic growth is going to pay for a cold fusion-powered perpetually airborne nuclear armed military base named the USS Trump, or whatever other whiz-bang doohickery Trump and his whack-job star chamber dream up, it is the benefits of that growth that would have to be taxed. And those benefits go inordinately to exactly the people Trump does not want to tax: rich white guys and the corporations and financial services they own and control.

For a long time I’ve been in the camp that prefers to pay attention to what Trump does as opposed to the inanities spurting from his always open fat mouth, so I’m inclined to skip his Tuesday speech anyway. It will be full of lies, of course. And on a policy level, it will draw on assumptions shared by virtually every other Republican in Congress, which is to say it will airily invoke the promise of zombie economic theory while stubbornly refusing to acknowledge the disfigured contours of the economy that actually exists.