December 3, 2017

NBC's Chuck Todd showed Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) three studies that prove the Senate tax bill will increase the deficit, yet with no facts, she claimed that economic growth and the confidence fairy would stimulate the economy so much that the bill she voted for would actually cut the deficit.

This is conservative economics at its worst.

Collins joined NBC's Meet The Press this morning to discuss her vote for the highly unpopular and controversial senate tax bill.

During the interview, host Chuck Todd even used the bogus "dynamic scoring" nonsense Republicans use to project revenues that aren't there to defend the tax cut/pro-growth gobbledygook and by that metric the tax bill still adds a massive amount of money to the deficit.

Kevin Drum calls it "fairy dust."

Todd played past video clips of the Senator acting like a typical Republican deficit hawk for years as she refused to vote for any bill that added one dollar to the federal deficit.

He then asked her how she could support this bill when it adds about a trillion dollars to the federal deficit.

Todd asked, "The best estimates say it's going to, even the best estimates of dynamic scoring that we could find still add half a trillion dollars to the deficit."

Sen. Collins replied, "Economic growth produces more revenue and that will help to offset this tax cut and actually lower the debt. I - even.."

This answer was so ridiculous that Todd almost fell off his chair challenging her.

Todd cut in and said, "Where's the evidence? Can I -- explain to me -- find a -- find a study that actually says what you're claiming. It doesn't exist."

She took the CBO scoring and manipulated its finding to justify her answer.

"If you take the CBO's formula and apply it, just four-tenths of 1% increase in the GDP generates revenues of a trillion dollars," she said.

Kevin Drum's article debunks Collin's answer using "dynamic scoring" to boot:

Republicans were going around saying that all they needed was 0.4 percent higher GDP each year and everything would be great. JCT projects instead that the bill will increase GDP by a little less than 0.1 percent each year.¹

Susan continued to cherry pick and tell falsehoods about the JCT's report about the bill creating billions of jobs because the report shows "...that amount of growth only covers about a third of the cost, far short of what is needed to have revenue-neutral tax reform, as the White House initially claimed."

She said, "I've talked to four economists, including the Dean of the Columbia school of business and former chairs of the Councils of Economic Advisers, and they believe that it will have this impact."

See, Sen. Collins has talked to people who really know.

She continued to play the confidence fairy card, "So I think if we can stimulate the economy, create more jobs, that that does generate more revenue."

Todd jumped back in, "But why isn't there a single study, I'm going to show you three studies That we have, sort of a liberal one, a centrist one and a conservative one."

(graphic on screen)

He continued, "The most conservative one, the most pro-economic growth argument still adds $516 billion to the deficit over ten years."

Sen. Collins then dropped a few more names of conservative economists like Larry Lindsey, who alleged the JCT model was all lies to thwart the senate bill.

She proclaimed, "So, I think you will find that economists just don't agree on this."

Where are your studies, Senator Collins? Where is your proof? Where are your facts?

She has none.

Todd asked her if she'd vote for anything that comes out of conference.

She said, "I got a commitment that we're going to pass two bills, including the Alexander Murray bill. - And one that I've authored that will help offset the individual mandate repeal by lowering premiums. And I also got an ironclad commitment that we're not going to see cuts in the Medicaid/Medicare program as a result of this bill."

It's mind boggling to think the GOP leadership will be able to keep their word on much of what they promised her for that vote.

Maybe Sen. McConnell will spread a little of that fairy dust on her breakfast so she'll magically forget all about them anyway.

[Nicole add: Isn't it funny how Chuck Todd only finds his hard-hitting journalism skills when it's a woman? He's tough on Susan Collins today, but compare it to his interview with John Kennedy (R-LA) earlier.]

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