Donald Trump thinks he knows how to make America's economy grow again, and that's by copying George W. Bush.

Indeed, in his big economic speech on Monday, Trump mostly just repeated the same supply-side shibboleths about cutting taxes for the rich and cutting back on regulations that Republicans have for 35 years now. The only way you could tell you weren't listening to, say, Mitt Romney, were all the calls to rip up our trade deals. But while the establishment might celebrate his lukewarm embrace, this only means he's ended up just as disconnected from economic evidence as the rest of the GOP has been for a long time now when it comes taxes, regulation, and growth.

The Republican Party, you see, keeps insisting that the only way to increase growth is to do what has not, in fact, increased growth the past 25 years. That's freeing businesses and businessmen from overly burdensome taxes and regulation so they bless us with so much wealth-creation that some of it will trickle down to us plebes. The problem with that, though, is it didn't work when George W. Bush tried it. The private sector, as you can see below, actually added fewer jobs after Bush cut taxes than it did after Bill Clinton and Barack Obama raised them.

It's almost as if growth depends on a lot more than just marginal tax rates.

How do Republicans explain this? Easy: They don't. They pretend that they never said Clinton's tax hikes would "lead us to a recession," like Newt Gingrich did in 1993. Or that the Bush tax cuts would supercharge the economy so much that they would pay off the entire national debt, like the Heritage Foundation did in 2001. Or that Obama's plan to raise taxes on the rich was "killing the Dow," like economist Michael Boskin did in 2009. The focus is always on the next tax cut, which, as Trumps says about his own, will "lead to millions of new, good-paying jobs." Everything else goes down the memory hole.

The GOP has taken the same kind of dogmatic approach to regulation. They tend to forget that rules have benefits as well as costs, or, if you look at it from the other direction, that there are costs as well as benefits to not having rules — like air that isn't as breathable, water that isn't as drinkable and a financial system that isn't as stable. Instead, they worry about anything getting in the way of business, even if that business is making predatory loans. That, after all, is what happened when the Bush administration's malign neglect of the mortgage market ended in a financial crisis that cost millions of jobs. Now, you might have thought the Bush years would have made obvious that loose regulations aren't quite a magic elixir for growth, but, well, no.

This is the price Trump has to pay to keep the party establishment from joining La Resistance. He has to pledge fealty to the policies that didn't work for George W. Bush, the policies that made only 18 percent of people say Mitt Romney cared about people like them, the policies that let Trump take over the GOP in the first place, just so that he won't lose half his party.