By Robert Mann
Have you noticed Republicans say they hate deficits? Have you heard their passionate rhetoric about the evils of the national debt? Maybe, like me, you thought when Republicans finally controlled Congress and the White House, they’d do something about the debt they’ve long denounced.
Well, they are doing something about it. They plan to blow it up with a tax-cut bill that would pile on an additional $1.67 trillion in debt over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. And this additional debt would be even greater were it not for Republican plans to repeal certain middle-class tax breaks, including the deduction for health expenses and the adoption tax credit.
This bill barreling through Congress is the latest evidence that Republicans worry about debt only when Democrats are in power. There is, apparently, Democratic debt (bad) and Republican debt (good).
Is this because Republican debt funds needless wars and massive tax cuts for billionaires? Or is it that Republicans care about government spending only when they can use it to vilify Democrats?
Let’s be clear how this bill would support tax cuts for corporations and billionaires. As The New York Times concluded, “Nearly half of all middle-class families would pay more in taxes in 2026 than they would under current rules if the proposed House tax bill became law, and about one-third would pay more in 2018.”
Just as troubling is what the Associated Press has reported: “Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, says the cost of the Republicans’ proposed tax cuts would add considerably to the federal debt burden, which now equals 75 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic output. By 2027, Zandi says, that burden would equal 97 percent of GDP.”
One can imagine what Louisiana’s Republican congressional delegation might have said if Barack Obama’s policies increased the debt. Actually, there’s no need to imagine. Here’s what they said in recent months and years:
Sen. Bill Cassidy: “[O]ur national debt is not sustainable and, unless addressed, will sharply limit future prosperity for our children and grandchildren.”
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