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Return Of the Donald Trump Emergency Theory

National Review's Daniel Foster, reacting to the possibility that Democrats will allow the tax cuts to lapse, asks, "does anybody think allowing all the cuts to expire wouldn’t prolong our economic doldrums?"

Foster is expressing a view that's become common on the right, which you could call tax cut Keynesianism. The idea is that it's especially harmful to raise taxes during a recession. I wrote a column about this view a couple months ago. Basically, if you believe that recessions are bad times to raise taxes, then you should also believe they're a bad time to cut spending. Alternatively, if you reject the Keynesian model, then you might think raising taxes is bad, but there's no particular reason to think raising taxes during a recession is especially problematic.

The conservative rhetoric about raising taxing during a recession amounts to an ideologically incoherent pastiche of mutually exclusive theories. It literally makes no sense at all.