Fox host Dagen McDowell and her band of likeminded tricksters may deserve an Oscar for their performance as Republican tax cut shills but nobody should buy their sales job that the Trump tax cuts will stimulate the economy so much that working and middle class Americans won’t be screwed.
Although even conservative panelist Gary B. Smith later acknowledged that “of course" the proposed tax cuts help the rich the most, McDowell did her best to suggest that it’s a good thing for everyone else. She opened a discussion on the subject today by saying, “The fight for your money is on.”
McDowell sneered about tax-cut critics, “All of a sudden our debt is an issue when it comes to giving America more of their own money back.”
The GOP tax cut effects on the debt could mean drastic cuts to Medicare
McDowell never mentioned how a rising debt could negatively impact Medicare and other social programs. The Washington Post noted that a rule known as “Paygo” “mandates immediate, across-the-board spending reductions to many mandatory programs for any bill that reduces taxes and doesn't fully offset them with revenue increases elsewhere.” Since the Republican plan will “add $1.5 trillion to the debt over the next decade,” the Post explained, “the government would have to make $150 billion in mandatory spending cuts every year for the next 10 years.” In addition to Medicare, the Student Loan Administration and the Military Retirement Fund would also be on the chopping block.
Former Reagan adviser Bruce Bartlett credibly alleges in a recent editorial that those cuts are the Republicans' stealth goal. Stealth goal or not, that is precisely what happened in Kansas. Bartlett outlined how Republicans sold Kansans tax cuts as an engine of economic growth that would compensate for any tax shortfalls. When revenue collapsed instead, Republicans slashed university budgets, canceled highway projects and eventually raised the sales tax “which disproportionately hit the pockets of poor and working-class Kansans who had received virtually no tax cut at all.”
PolitiFact likewise says "the evidence is thin" that tax cuts would pay for themselves.
McDowell and four of her five guests echoed the "tax cuts pay for themselves" propaganda while ignoring evidence to the contrary
John Layfield claimed that “in every case” in the last 100 years, Treasury revenue increased. “You do tax cuts right, the economy gets better, and Treasury revenue increases,” he said. (Bartlett persuasively argues that previous tax cuts were made under conditions more favorable for them to work.)
McDowell said to guest Gary B. Smith, "Gary B., we will never claw our way out of these deficits unless we get this economy growing faster than it has been for literally the last decade. We do that through tax cuts."
"Exactly,” Smith agreed. He gave a hint of that stealth goal in his following comments: “Look, this argument that the left is making that somehow tax cuts have to be self-funding is ludicrous. It makes a straw man of saying the government somehow deserves some pile of money. It doesn’t, it’s the people out there who earn the money. If the government then doesn't have enough money, shrink the size of the government."
Smith continued by suggesting that more trips to Starbucks or vacations are better for working folks than Medicare: “The more money you put in people’s pockets that go to Starbucks, or take a trip or do whatever is a lot more efficient than government spending like Solyndra and the TSA … and defense and then the budget is blown to smithereens. It’s a lot more efficient. Let the people have the money they earn.”
And if you don’t earn enough money for health care in your old age or college tuition when you’re young, well, too bad! Have a coffee instead! Smith later said, the government “should be building highways, defending our country and that’s it.”
McDowell continued trying to appeal to her conservative viewers by swiping at Democrats: “The fact that Democrats are now worried about the debt and deficit - I don’t know what church they’re going to but please explain that.” She laughed derisively as she spoke.
Republican pollster Lee Carter called that concern “a great talking point for the Democrats to use to obstruct.” Apparently, she was all on board the “Starbucks, not Medicare” train, too.
Democrat Chuck Rocha, the lone voice of opposition, concisely explained why the tax cuts will not help the middle class. For one thing, corporations don’t really need a tax cut now because they are already flush with cash. "More cash on their books than they've ever had in the history of their corporations." he said. "Why ain’t they already doing that?" he asked, meaning why isn't the extra cash already trickling down? Nobody came up with an answer.
Watch Fox try to help the rich get richer and hide how the poor will probably get poorer below, from the November 18, 2017 Bulls & Bears.
News Hound Ellen also contributed to this post.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
We watch Fox so you don't have to!