I believe he does understand exactly what he is doing. He is hell bent on fundamentally transforming America, as he has previously stated. When challenged with historical experience that raising the capital gains tax rate results in lower actual revenue, he said that is fine because a higher cap gains tax is "more fair". This all isn't about doing what is MEASURABLY and OBJECTIVELY best for the country, but rather the ways things should be in HIS arbitrary judgement. That doesn't sound any different from the principles by which Mao Ze Dong ruled China.