Heather Long's piece in the Washington Post telling readers, "Trump wants a $15 billion spending cut. That's about 1 percent of the cost of his tax bill," badly misled readers. The $1.5 trillion cost of the tax bill is a ten-year figure. The $15 billion in spending cuts are meant to hit in a single year. Presumably, Trump and his Republican allies will look for similar cuts in future years. This means that the cuts are 10 percent of the cost of the tax bill.

Of course, being larger doesn't make them better since the cuts are focused on programs that benefit low- and moderate-income people. But if we're keeping score, it is worth trying to be accurate.

It is also worth noting that neither Long nor any of her deficit hawk sources in this piece say a word about the implicit debt the government is creating for people through granting patent and copyright monopolies. Granting these monopolies is an alternative way to direct spending for the government to finance things like research and creative work.

The money committed as a result of these monopolies in the form of higher market prices is enormous. In the case of prescription drugs alone, it is likely more than $380 billion a year, or almost 2.0 percent of GDP. Adding in the cost of medical equipment, software, and other areas could well push the sum to more than $1 trillion a year, more than six times the cost of the Trump tax cuts.

Anyone who is really concerned about the liabilities that the government is creating for future taxpayers has to include the cost of these government granted monopolies. If they don't factor in patent and copyright rights into their assessment of future burdens, they are either just trying to scare people to push a political agenda or very confused.