GOP Three Sheets To The Wind For Tax Giveaway

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Politico reports on the party-line votes yesterday in the U.S. Senate to kick “tax reform” into high gear–moving ahead with plans to slash taxes on most Americans, but especially rich ones, in exchange for $1.5 trillion (with a ‘T’) added to the deficit:

GOP leaders, as well as House Budget Chairman Diane Black and Senate Budget Chairman Mike Enzi, have been ironing out their difference and crafted a Senate amendment full of House-requested tweaks. Because the Senate adopted the amendment during its marathon “vote-a-rama” Thursday, the House could clear the fiscal blueprint as soon as next week…

House sources say it’s likely that conservatives will back the accord, given their desire to move to tax reform. The House Freedom Caucus and the Republican Study Committee had been pushing for a quicker timetable, which sources say this budget allows.

Two House sources said the emerging agreement would allow for the House’s higher defense spending number later in the year, something House defense hawks pushed for up to the last minute. The language suggests Republicans plan to raise strict spending caps on the Pentagon, without offsets if need be — something crucial to getting House Armed Services panel members on board.

The deal, however, allows both chambers to increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion via tax reform, matching the Senate’s tax number, one Senate source said. The House had called for a deficit-neutral tax package.

As Politico reports, House Republicans wanted to offset at least $200 million of these tax cuts with proposed cuts to welfare programs, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected that plan. The numbers in the budget “framework” passed yesterday, say Republicans who approved it, don’t mean as much as the procedural power the vote gave Republicans to pass their tax plan without the 60 votes nominally required–thus bypassing Democratic opposition to this wildly irresponsible process.

The point here is that Republicans have committed to the first step, huge tax cuts, without even trying to show how to pay for those cuts. They don’t want to publicly commit to cuts to programs the public supports, which when you get down to it is most programs, so the legislation allows for the possibility–opponents would say certainty–of massive new deficits with the hope that the tax cuts will trigger economic growth that negates the revenue loss. It’s the same logic used by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to justify unsustainable tax cuts–and when the promised economic boom never ensued, the state’s budget fell apart.

But that’s not what matters today. The only objective now is to jam those tax cuts through, and deal with the consequences later! In the highly likely event that the tax cuts fail to work their “Laffer Curve” magic and counterintuitively grow revenues, the same Republicans who passed these tax cuts will use the deficits that result as their excuse to demand the program cuts they don’t want to own today.

Democrats unsuccessfully pleading for fiscal responsibility from the “party of fiscal responsibility,” and then taking the blame for deficits they did not create, is truly one of the more maddening dynamics in modern American politics. It has happened every time Republicans have passed or otherwise forced “tax reform” in recent years, followed by the inevitable call for “tough choices” when reality doesn’t meet their unrealistic forecasts–and it is being set up, right now, to happen again.

At some point, Americans will connect both sides of this monumental scam. But it hasn’t happened yet.

26 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. taterheaptom says:

    I hear Leader McConnell has some special Dark Turtle Magic from the Swamp that might could make the Voo-Doo work, this time. 



  2. DavieDavie says:

    Yep, same old cynical ploy by Republicans — boost the Pentagon's budget (whose spending has never been subject to an audit by Congress), give their wealthiest donors a massive tax cut to keep them happy, add trillions to the deficit to pay for it (because deficits don't matter when the GOP is in power), and cut the safety net for the needy when the "fiscally responsible" Republicans demand pay-fors.

    And everyone insists on calling this “Tax Reform“?

  3. bullshit!bullshit! says:

    At some point, Americans will connect both sides of this monumental scam. But it hasn’t happened yet.

    If Americans ever do figure this out it will be the end of the GOP.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Not a chance . . . 

      As Abraham Lincoln presciently noted “some of the people, all of the time” is now today’s working definition of “Republican”, and the pool from which it draws membership. 

  4. ModeratusModeratus says:

    The GOP grassroots wants tax reform and government to get smaller.

    • Does ballooning the deficit qualify as smaller government? To me it's an excuse to give away money to corporations and rich people now so that you can justify taking more away from the average person later. I congratulate Sen. Paul on his principled stand on this vote; at least he's not a complete hypocrite on the "reduce the deficit" slogan Republicans have been running on since 2009. (Convenient how the deficit reduction seems to pop up only when Democrats are in the Presidency, too…)

      It will be interesting to see how tax reform fares when it comes to the reconciliation process. Reconciliation bills aren't supposed to add to the deficit.

      • DavieDavie says:

        Not so much –that was when Democrats ruled.  The "print more money" Republicans got rid of that problem:

        In 2007, when Democrats took control of the House and Senate, both chambers adopted rules designed to prohibit use of reconciliation for measures that increase deficits.  When Republicans took the House in 2011, they replaced the House rule with one that placed no restrictions on revenue provisions that increase deficits but prohibited reconciliation instructions that would produce a net increase in mandatory spending, regardless of the reconciliation bill’s overall impact on deficits.

        The Senate rule against deficit-increasing reconciliation bills was repealed in 2015, as part of the budget resolution for fiscal year 2016.


      • FrankUnderwood says:

        IIRC, their rationale went like this in 1981 and 2001…..

        There were two possibilities. (1) Cutting taxes will stimulate growth and generate enough $$$ to make up for the cuts. The Laffer bullshit. Didn't work either time, but for RWNJ, hope springs eternal.

        (2) If you slash revenues enough, there will be enough political will to slash spending as well. The Small Enough to Drown It in the Bathtub bullshit. Again, that didn't work in '81 or '01, but they think it will work this time.

        You know what they say about doing exactly the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result….


    • unnamed says:

      …and nutlid is just three sheets to the wind.

    • DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

      This GOP grassroots?

      • FrankUnderwood says:

        Someone should show this to Young Holbert who is complaining on another thread that Pols has been saying nasty things about his dad.

        You know who else has had to see nasty things published about their dad? Obama's daughters.


    • unnamed says:

      Btw Moldy, how does ballooning the deficit make Government smaller?

    • ParkHill says:

      By "GOP Grassroots", you mean wealthy donors.

      And, it's not "tax reform", it's cut taxes for the wealthy by $1.5 trillion.

      And, it's not smaller government, as most of the budget goes to Military and Insurance programs, so you can't make government much smaller unless you shrink the military and cut Social Security, which you can't because it funds itself.

      Actual GOP Grassroots are motivated by racial animosity and weird, Fox News or Breitbart conspiracy theories. Well, that and the whole Fake-Christian Affinity Fraud contingent. Take away the Racists and Vanilla Isis, and you can't win elections.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Small minds, . . .

      Small hands, . . . 

      small government?!?

    • Genghis says:

      Oh deary deary me oh my, no. Your typical GOPer is a big government authoritarian through and through. Trouble is, s/he doesn't want to pay for it. Stated differently, your typical GOPer is a welfare queen.

  5. notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

    And we do that by digging a deficit hole that we'll need to borrow money from other countries to get out of? Republican math baffles me.

  6. FrankUnderwood says:

    Here's a suggestion for the Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee….

    If less is more, then none should bring in the most.

    Why not eliminate all taxes for five years. Folks will be so wealthy and there will be much abundance that people would not mind voluntarily contributing to provide for the common defense and pay out corporate welfare to deserving businesses.

    And if things do not pan out that way, Drumpf can send Beauregard down to the D.C. Bankruptcy Court to place the federal government in Chapter 7.


    • JohnInDenver says:

      Can't eliminate all taxes for five years. Even in Kansas, they could stand the winning only for 4 before creating a "rational caucus" of Democrats and some sensible Republicans, big enough to pass a bill to bring taxes back to what they had been, overriding Gov. Brownback before he left. He's now *resident Trump's "ambassador at large for international religious freedom." Which I suppose means he hasn't been arrested yet.

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