Where’s all the bellyaching about the impact of the Republican/Trump Tax Cut-A-Palooza on the debt and deficit? For eight years during the Obama Administration it seemed like all any Republican politician could focus on was the debt and the deficit. They held the government hostage to it, and now nary a peep.
Of course, this is entirely predictable because the issue’s never been the debt and the deficit – not really. They don’t care about the debt and deficit when they are taking the country to war, and they don’t care about the debt and deficit when they are funneling wealth toward the rich.
Reality is an inconvenience to ideology, and reactionary ideology seeks only to make rich people richer and slash the government all to hell. With this tax plan, Republicans see an opportunity to do both.
Let’s all recall that the budget deficit is yearly and is caused by our government spending more than it takes in. The debt is what accumulates when our government has to borrow after years of deficits.
Take the Bush tax cuts from 2001 and 2003 for example. Because of the revenue they took away, they added $5.6 trillion to deficits from 2001 through this year, 2017. This means that our government has had to borrow $5.6 trillion because of the loss of revenue, thus adding $5.6 trillion to the national debt from those tax cuts.
The magical economic growth that was supposed to occur never manifested, and in fact the Bush era ended in the Great Recession. The growth won’t happen this time either, and another recession would set up an opportunity for Republicans to get to slashing.
While we don’t have CBO numbers yet, initial estimates are that the Trump Tax Cuts will add at least $200 billion to the yearly deficit. That’s another $3.2 trillion in debt over the next 16 years.
When it comes to our debt, remember that a significant portion is owed to we, the people, not held by us. Currently about 30 percent ($5.6 trillion) is owned by federal agencies such as the Social Security Trust Fund, from which Congress has robbed to the tune of over $2 trillion so far, plus military retirement, Medicare and others.
Of the remaining $14.7 trillion in debt, about half is owned by foreign governments while the rest is held by the federal reserve, mutual funds, state and local government, private pension funds, etc.
So what happens when another economic bubble breaks? There goes the magical projections of economic growth Republican politicians say will make up for the lost revenue from this massive giveaway to big banks, multinational corporations and that pesky 1 percent that gets 80 percent of the gains from these tax cuts while the bottom 99 gets 20 percent.
When the bottom falls out, we know what they’ll cut. They’re gonna come for your Social Security money and your Medicare money and your public education funding and your community investment grant funding. They’re going to say we need to cap and block grant Medicaid.
They’re going to squeeze the individual states, who will in turn continue to attack your public collective bargaining power so they can slash the wages and pensions of your teachers and your police and firefighters and other public servants.
Meanwhile wages in the private sector will continue to stagnate and good paying jobs for people of modest living will continue to be devastatingly hard to find.
This tax plan is nothing more than a cruel wealth grab for the rich with some scraps for the plebs to keep them complacent. For the poor and middle-class, it’s a pittance now and all the pain you can handle later.