When the Republican Congress passed the most sweeping rewrite of the tax code in decades recently, they were careful not to say anything about the bonanza ($2 trillion) they handed to corporations and the very rich. They sold it, with additional deception, as a tax cut to the middle class and continue to do so.
Experts were quick to point out that this tax bonanza for the rich would balloon the budget deficit to dangerous heights: a trillion dollars by 2020. There was a suspicion that Republicans planned to use this new deficit projection as an excuse to attack Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, saying that they had to get the deficit under control by cutting back these programs.
Right on cue, Paul Ryan has just stated that the steep increase in the deficit will be “because of mandatory spending which we call entitlements,” i.e. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Nary a word about the impact of the tax bill. And whose fault will it be that these entitlements will balloon the deficit? “The baby boomers retiring (are) going to do that.”
The claim that Republicans are worried about the deficit is patently false. The last four Republican administrations have increased the deficit by as much as 2 percent. The last three Democratic administrations have reduced the deficit by as much as 5 percent.
Worried about the deficit? Elect Democrats.