It would be tempting to gloat at a time like this, but we actually have nothing but respect for NY Times columnist David Brooks, who admitted to PBS on Friday that he got it wrong in his criticism of the Trump administration’s tax cuts. In an interview on NewsHour, the “conservative” columnist said that the GOP’s tax reform bill was working much better than he predicted and in fact was having exactly the effect that the Trump administration said it would have.
“I was against the Trump tax cuts,” Brooks said. “But the early evidence is that they’re working better than I thought. And so, in the first quarter, among S&P companies, capital expenditures are up 39 percent. That’s a seven-year high. That’s far higher than a lot of us thought. Stock buybacks, which is just giving people — to shareholders, that’s only 16 percent. So the evidence from just the first quarter seems to be that what the Trump people told us would happen is happening, that companies are reinvesting the money. And so, it’s important to oppose what’s opposable and what’s reprehensible and offensive. And we’ve been doing that, as I say, for three years. But it’s also important to see reality. And the more serious opposition will, frankly, be on disastrous policies or not disastrous policies.”
Not sure where he was going with that last bit, but we can’t blame him for getting lost in the weeds. This president’s critics are going through a rough time right now. This is especially true for so-called NeverTrump Republicans, who are watching this president make conservative dreams come true in so many areas of policy. The tax cuts only scratch the surface. The inroads Trump is making with North Korea were said to have been absolutely impossible by foreign policy experts on both sides of the political establishment. His administration’s defense of religious freedom is second to none. And he is getting ready to put a decisive end to the Iran deal, an abomination that Republicans were vehemently opposed to.
So yeah, it takes a certain amount of fortitude to come out and admit when you’re wrong. We certainly don’t expect to see Brooks suddenly jump on the Trump Train, but at least he’s not a total fool like Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post or Ana Navarro over on CNN. He can admit when he called it wrong and retain at least some semblance of integrity. If our newspapers and cable channels had more pundits like Brooks – people willing to say, Welp, Trump was right on this one – our entire political environment would be a lot better off.