Originally Published: December 16, 2017 5:57 a.m.
The Republican tax bill adds $1.47-plus trillion to the national debt. Historically when “Fiscal Conservatives” pass budget-busting tax cuts, they usually stoke debt fears to justify taking an ax to federal spending.
They did it when President Obama took office despite their overwhelming support for George W. Bush’s $3 trillion tax cuts, and they have confirmed they plan to do it again. This time they are coming for the two largest social insurance programs, Social Security and Medicare.
Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said he wants Republicans to focus in 2018 on reducing spending on government programs. While whipping votes for the tax bill, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, attacked “liberal programs” for the poor and said Congress needs to stop wasting Americans’ money. “You also have to bring spending under control. The driver of our debt is the structure of Social Security and Medicare for beneficiaries,” says Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida.
After Senate Republicans passed their wildly unpopular tax bill, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, told a crowd in Dayton, Ohio, he had just witnessed the “biggest act of thievery in the modern history of this country.” Sanders called it “class warfare,” and said Republicans are “looting the federal government” giving handouts to corporations and the wealthy.
By 2027, the top one-fifth of earners will receive 90 percent of the tax cut benefits, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center and the CBO.