I have not been a big fan of the Trump tax cuts. I like tax cuts as well as the next citizen, but these tax cuts were poorly designed. The benefits go to big business and the rich rather than everyday Americans.
That might be OK if businesses would use the money to invest in expanded capacity and to create jobs, but the early evidence is that they’re using the tax savings for stock buybacks and dividends; another benefit for the rich that does little for the real economy. So, I don’t expect much economic stimulus from those tax cuts.
But, where Trump has made a positive difference is in regulation. Trump’s repeal of regulatory burdens does encourage business expansion and job creation, especially in small-and-medium sized business. The problem is that for every regulation that Trump repeals, it seems that California or some other progressive state comes up with a new one.
This article is a good example of that trend. California is in the process of passing a law that will require all new homes built in California after 2020 to have solar panels on the roof. That sounds praiseworthy in terms of clean energy generation, but it raises a host of legal questions.
Will homeowners own the solar panels or is this just a kind of forced easement of government solar panels on private property? What happens to the electricity – does it go to the homeowner or is it sold to the grid in exchange for a rebate check? And, what happens in a crisis such as a power outage or grid collapse? Will the government just take however much electricity it wants out of “necessity” and leave homeowners to fend for themselves?
Beyond those questions is the simple fact that this will make the cost of building homes more expensive and will reduce the affordability of housing to everyday residents of California. Trump may be reducing the costs of regulation, but California is increasing them just as fast. It’s not clear the U.S. economy is much further ahead, all things considered.
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