Lawrence O'Donnell: How Tax Cut Bill Will Be Used To Cut Medicare, Social Security

On AM Joy, Joy Reid and Lawrence O'Donnell discussed how the supposedly deficit-hating Republicans have suddenly learned to love them.

"They were looking for something like this, where can we squeeze in a tiny giveaway that goes to another income group, other than the rich," O'Donnell said.

"So Rubio was the one who played that, he will now get credit for that. They know this is an explosion of the deficit. All of them do. Bob Corker is, I don't know how you want to characterize it, but you could call it the funniest of these votes. He actually said to Chuck Todd on Meet The Press, in the video that will live forever. 'I will not vote for a bill that increases the deficit by --'

"One penny," Reid finished.

"It's now a memorized line in politics. This increases the deficits by $1.5 trillion. And Corker knows that and his statement on voting for it, he makes no attempt to mitigate that. He doesn't say 'about that one penny.' He doesn't say a word."

"It's very deliberate. It's a cycle. We've been in this cycle now, literally since 1993. It started in the 1980s. Bill Clinton gets elected. Having run on a middle class tax cut, which he did not do. he then enacted the biggest tax increase in history and I was there working in the Senate finance committee. Helped him do it. That was a completely partisan vote. The first big completely partisan vote.

"So Bill Clinton raises taxes. That means the Republicans get to run for the presidency against Bill Clinton. and then against Al Gore on the idea of cutting taxes. And so George W. Bush cuts the taxes that the Democratic president raised. He cuts them to a point that's obviously going to create a massive deficit. It does. And then the Democratic president comes in and has to raise them, Barack Obama. And then the Republican presidential candidates get to run against the raised taxes by the Democrat. So we know who is going to fix the deficit. It's the next Democratic president. And that president will pay a price from Republicans campaigning against that president for having raised taxes."


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Reid said that something felt different this time. "It seems that the public has finally caught on to this game. Because the approval rating -- normally tax cuts are popular. the approval of the tax cut plan, only 26% approve it. The latest Quinnipiac numbers, who will benefit it from it? 65% of the people in the poll say the wealthy will benefit. Only 21% say the middle class and will it cut your taxes? Only 16% of people say it will cut their taxes. Your senator or representative votes for this tax cut bill, will be you more likely to re-elect or not? Not.

"People have figured this out."

"And they're going to see the second stage of it," McDonnell said.

"I've got to say, the Republicans are being remarkably uncool. Which is -- next year of course is, we have to cut Medicare and we have to cut Social Security. because look, the deficit. and the deficits will be projected to be much higher because of this tax bill. And Paul Ryan has come out and said, I really want to get to this. and the truth is, Republicans have always wanted to do both of these things. They've wanted to starve the beast, as my boss in the Senate used to say. Senator Moynihan. They want to starve the beast, that's this part, cut off the funding to the government and then having cut off the funding to the government, let's all sit around and decide what spending we have to cut."

"Meals On Wheels, food stamps, gotta go," Reid said.

"The biggest stuff can you go for is Medicare and Social Security. And defense is big, but we can never touch that," O'Donnell replied.

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