David McIntosh is the president of the Club for Growth. He was a three-term Congressman from Indiana and is a co-founder of the Federalist Society.
The Club for Growth is a well-known advocacy group that is dedicated to limited government and the belief that prosperity and opportunity come from economic freedom. These beliefs put the Club at odds with Donald Trump.
McIntosh explains the clash in a letter to Club for Growth members, which is the clearest debunking I’ve seen of Donald Trump’s credentials as an economic conservative. Here is the meat of the letter:
The Club believes that Donald is the worst Republican candidate on economic issues – plain and simple. In fact, short of Bernie Sanders, he may be the most liberal candidate in the whole field on fiscal policy.
Not only has Trump been all over the map on some of the Club’s key issues – but he has taken several positions that are downright horrendous!
Trump came out for socialized medicine that was to the left of Obamacare, and he still thinks it works.
Trump proposed the largest tax increase in U.S. history. That’s not easy to do, but Trump did.
Trump not only supported eminent domain to take people’s private property so developers could use it for casinos and amusement parks, he’s tried to do it himself!
Trump jumped on board with Obama’s tax-the-rich mantra, dismissing a flat tax because he wants rates that “graduate upward.” Note to Donald: that’s the system we have in place.
Trump doesn’t just saber-rattle about trade wars, he wants to take up the sword and rush the U.S. into massive trade wars with huge tariffs that would be a devastating tax on American businesses and consumers.
Donald Trump poses as anti-establishment. But that’s exactly the problem. He’s posing, just like the reality star he is. Playing a part for the sake of an audience – he really is the worst kind of politician.
The Club for Growth has also built a reputation on being anti-establishment, especially when it comes to fighting against the Republican Party for failing to cut taxes and shrink government.
But that’s the key difference between the Club and Donald Trump. The Club is anti-establishment but it is also FOR something: “Prosperity and Opportunity through Economic Freedom.”
The only thing Donald Trump is for – is Donald Trump.
This past week I wrote an op-ed explaining how the failure of Republican leaders in Washington has given birth to the Donald Trump show.
You and I don’t want any more excuses from John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. We want them to fight for the principles they were sent to Washington to defend. And Republicans are angry because they haven’t done the job. So, they’re looking for presidential candidates to stir things up and force real change.
The Club for Growth has done exhaustive work researching the economic liberty records of GOP presidential candidates, and there are decidedly pro-growth candidates with policies that could turn things around.
Donald Trump is absolutely not one of them. His record on taxes, trade, spending, and entitlement reform is simply awful. And his posturing on all sides of issues makes him the worst kind of politician.
So it’s great that Donald Trump is anti-establishment. But I’m more concerned about what he’s FOR than just what he’s against – and we hope you are too.
(Emphasis in the letter)
By the way, I recommend that readers check out the Club for Growth’s white papers on the economic positions of various Republican contenders. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio come off the best, with Scott Walker not far behind. As McIntosh indicates, all contenders whose record is analyzed, even Mike Huckabee, come off better than Trump.