October 17, 2018

Remember the Republican mantra when they passed their massive tax cut bill? "It'll pay for itself!" The Magical Growth Formula so beloved of conservatives, the one with absolutely no proof?

Here we go again.

And as usual, the only possible remedy is cutting the programs on which so many Americans depend: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Media bobbleheads love this discussion, because eventually, they know they'll get to scold Democrats for their stubborn refusal to throw poor people on the scrap heap.

Here's Mika:

"According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, if you're trying to blame the Republicans for the booming deficit, look elsewhere. He explained to Bloomberg News, it's disappointing but it's not a Republican problem, it's a bipartisan problem, unwillingness to address the real drivers of the debt by doing anything to adjust those programs to the demographics in America in the future. The federal deficit ballooned by 17% to 779 billion in President Trump's first full fiscal year in office.

"And, Sam, I will concede, you do need bipartisan support to make cuts to programs that people depend on, or are used to getting. Your reaction?"

"Well, listen, I mean everyone who passed the tax cut package basically said it would pay for itself," Stein said. "They said it would create this great economic benefit, you'd have these increased revenues, therefore it's perfect, you reduce the deficit while getting rid of taxes. it's obviously proven to not be the case. and, you know, Republicans hit the ball fairly to touch entitlement reforms, said it was not on their political agenda. What McConnell has done here, he's stripped away the veneer and said in the next Congress we will take a whack at Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid potentially. It's, you know, somewhat of a political mishap, but it is the truth. This is what they want to do."

"The reality is, Republicans control the White House. They control both houses of Congress, and they passed tax cuts that they argued, you know, and at the time it was on its face not correct to the point that Bob Corker was kind of like, 'This is absurd, why are we doing this and had to be quieted down by the leadership in his party. But it's simply patently not the case. Is it true that entitlement spending is a bigger long-term problem than, you know, the balance of our discretionary and defense spending? Sure. but that's not the question at hand."

"Also, I would add this, if you are thinking about a bipartisan solution to the entitlement issue, which is what McConnell has said needs to be done here, if we're being honest about it, it's going to likely involve some form of revenue increases. You know, could be in the form of taxes or raising the cap on Social Security. It's going to require a revenue component. But Republicans have shown time and time again they aren't interested in having that be part of the deal. There was a great bipartisan near-deal from Boehner and Obama in 2011. It didn't happen because of taxes. Until Republicans are willing to talk about raising taxes, there will be no bipartisan deal on entitlements."

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