Hey, America, we can stop pretending that Republicans are the economic geniuses in the country, okay?
As much as Republicans carp about debt, they sure don’t seem to mind deficit spending — as long as the deficits benefit the rich and the military industrial complex. Of course, deficits lead to debt, but don’t tell that to say, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). His tax plan, proposed as part of his presidential bid, have been analyzed by The Tax Policy Center, and ol’ Marco’s budget digs a massive $8.2 trillion hole in the budget.
Stop and think about that for a second. The current total outstanding U.S. debt, you know the thing that Republicans like Ohio Governor John Kasich take on the road with him to stump speeches? It clocks in right now at about $19 trillion and Republicans are literally incapable of shutting the fuck up about it. In fact, conservatives in general, if you have a conversation with them, will almost always circle their argument against government back to the debt. We can’t afford anything, they’ll argue.
So why is their Golden Boy proposing a budget that creates such a great opportunity to tack on more debt? Because they don’t give a shit about debt as long as it’s created for the ideological reasons they agree with, that’s why. Rubio’s budget looks a lot like Mitt Romney’s and Paul Ryan’s budgets always do — tax cuts that primarily help the wealthy and cuts to vital services everywhere else.
As Vox reported it:
Rubio’s plan would cost the government $6.8 trillion in lost revenue over 10 years, TPC concludes, and would increase the deficit by $8.2 trillion once interest payments are taken into account. That’s basically identical to the cost of Bush’s plan, and significantly less than Trump’s $9.5 trillion/$11.2 trillion proposal. And like both of their plans, it concentrates its benefits heavily among the richest Americans (source)
Why do Americans keep buying into the canard that Republicans are fiscally responsible and Democrats are budget busting bastards? Clinton worked with Congress and balanced the budget, creating surpluses that lasted until Bush II decided tax cuts were better. Now the deficit is lower than it’s been in quite some time, and Republicans are proposing budgets that throw the balance out of whack even further and balloon the deficit again, all in the name of tax cuts.
I keep asking why people fall for this craziness, but the only reason I can come up with is that they just really aren’t being shown the math. They aren’t getting exposed to the truth about the impact of these budget proposals and are instead just clinging to the basic notion that taxes are theft and any budget that cuts them, no matter how low and no matter to what end, is a good thing. They must keep buying into it because “Republicans are good with the economy” is all they hear, because Rubio’s isn’t the only GOP budget to be comically bad at math, it’s just the latest.
We can argue and debate over marginal tax rates until we’re blue in the face, but unless and until the right-wing in this country stops outright lying to itself and us about the results of their policies, what exactly is the point? They should just come clean and say that they too aren’t really all that worried about the debt as long as it’s run up by cutting taxes so low we can’t take in enough to take care of our people. That’s at least intellectually honest. But putting out budget after top-heavy budget that wind up just creating huge holes that can never be filled, the time is right now for everyone else to call “bullshit” on the idea that Republicans are more fiscally responsible than any other living human being.
Just ask the $8.2 trillion wide hole in Rubio’s budget how fiscally sound it is. That is if you can see or hear anything over the sound of our infrastructure and future scientific breakthroughs being sucked down into it, of course.