Congressional Republicans are not only poised to deal a devastating blow to New York, New Jersey and other states in order to send trillions of dollars to the wealthiest people and corporations in America. The self-styled deficit hawks are set to rip a historically huge hole in the federal budget.
The abandonment of a core tenet of fiscal conservatism is as disgusting as it is unsurprising; in the Trump era, principles are for suckers.
Following the wee-hours ramming through of the Senate bill Saturday morning, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced, “I not only don’t think it will increase the deficit, I think it will be beyond revenue neutral.”
He may as well have put his fingers in his ears and said, “La la la la la la la I’m not listening.”
Every single reputable outside economic study says that this tax plan adds, at minimum, $1 trillion to the debt over the next 10 years. Those include multiple studies that use dynamic models, factoring in economic growth effects.
Like the Penn Wharton budget model’s estimate of the tax plan’s deficit impact — between $1.27 trillion and $1.52 trillion . The Tax Policy Center sees increased red ink at $1.23 trillion. Even Congress’s own Joint Committee on Taxation makes an educated guess that the debt will grow by $1 trillion.
Which is to say, Republicans are passing a giant tab to future generations and pretending there’s no conflict by living in an alternative reality.
Just months into the Obama administration — in the middle of the deepest recession since the Great Depression — McConnell bewailed a blowing up of the deficit “over the next five to 10 years and sending the bill to our grandchildren.”
Yet 2009, when the country was kicking its legs as hard as possible against a nasty tide, was exactly the time for necessary stimulus spending.
Today, with unemployment low and growth already humming, just about any sane economist will tell you it’s exactly the time to do the opposite.
Imagine a world in which Republicans actually cared about deficits.