Ah, what the hell. The second half of Sean Hannity’s interview with Donald Trump is up, and it’s….hard to describe. But the ADHD is on full display. Here is Hannity asking him about his tax plan. After being taken aback that Trump doesn’t favor a flat tax, Hannity wants to know how high Trump would set the top rate:
TRUMP: I actually believe that people, as they make more and more money, can pay a higher percentage, OK?
HANNITY: How high?….What’s the cap?
TRUMP: We will set the cap. I want to have a cap so we have a lot of business, a lot more activity. I want to get rid of all this deficit. We’ll make it — we’re losing $600 billion, $700 billion! We’re going to be losing. And by the way, when ObamaCare kicks in, we’re going to be losing a $1.3 trillion, $1.4 trillion a year. We can’t do that. We’re going to be a Greece on steroids!
Here’s what I want to do. I want to simplify the tax cut. I want to cut taxes. But I want to simplify the tax code. I want to make it great for the middle class. The middle class is being killed.
I want to put H&R Block — it’s an ambition of mine to put H&R Block out of business. When a person has a simple tax return, they have a job, and they can’t even figure out when they look at this complicated form — they can’t figure out what to pay.
And you know what? I have guys that are friends of mine, they make a fortune. They’re hedge fund guys. They move around — paper. Look, at least I build things. I put people to — these guys move around paper. And half the time, it’s luck more than talent, OK?
They pay peanuts, OK? I want to make it so the middle class — I want to lower taxes, but I want to make it so the middle class benefits.
And there you have it: Donald Trump talking policy. Hannity has a simple question: what should be the highest tax rate? 23 percent? 28 percent? 35 percent? Trump just bulldozes by and starts free associating about the deficit and the middle class and simplified returns and hedge fund guys and—something else. I’m not sure who the “They pay peanuts” comment is aimed at. Hedge fund managers? By the time he’s done flitting around, even Hannity, one of our nation’s foremost blowhards, just gives up and moves on to something else.
I’m not just cherry picking, either. The entire interview is like this. The conversation about Iran is, if anything, even more surreal. Hannity actually tried asking about the nuclear deal multiple times instead of just giving up, and as near as I can tell Trump knows only two things about the agreement: (a) Iran will get $150 billion1 and (b) something about 24 days for inspections. That’s it.
I know I said this already, but I’m honestly not sure Trump is deliberately evading questions. Maybe he is. It’s certainly the case that he hasn’t bothered to learn even the first thing about either tax policy or the Iran deal. At the same time, he genuinely sounds like an ADHD kid whose mind is in such chaos that he simply can’t string together more than two coherent sentences at a time. And yet, as he keeps reminding us, he is really rich. Can someone with the attention span of a kitten on crack get that rich?
1Just for the record, the net value of the impounded money that Iran would get access to is somewhere between $30 and $150 billion. Nobody really knows the exact figure.