"Magical thinking is something politicians in America in both parties are very good at," says David Cay Johnston.

An expansive wall along the border with Mexico. A plan to dramatically improve infrastructure throughout the country. Numerous proposals to cut taxes.

Can President Trump and Republicans in Congress pay for all of these things?

Will the GOP soon become the party of deficit spending?

What kind of cuts to current programs would it take to pay for those policies?

Those are questions host Stephen Henderson poses to conservative and liberal economists on Detroit Today

“The Republicans have said they want to bring the deficit down, they’ve said they want to bring tax revenue down, they’ve said they want to bring spending down on some things, but they seem intent on increasing spending on other things like defense or infrastructure by an equal amount,” says University of Georgia economist Jeffrey Dorfman.

“So, it’s hard to find anybody with a credible plan to reduce spending.”

Henderson is also joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist David Cay Johnston, an economic specialist and author who formerly worked as a state Capitol reporter in Lansing for the Detroit Free Press. He says it’s not possible for the GOP to implement all of its plans at once without reneging on promises to cut the deficit.

“Magical thinking is something politicians in America in both parties are very good at,” says Johnston.

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.


  • Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.