It’s a miracle, but the federal Congress actually managed to pass a two-year budget deal and President Drumpf actually managed to sign it. Of course, before that they needed to have a 5½ government shutdown between midnight on Thursday and early Friday morning, when the House voted to approve the budget passed in the Senate.
As reported by NPR, the new deal suspends a 2011 budget law championed by conservatives that set hard caps on discretionary spending and included an automatic trigger known as “sequester” cuts if Congress attempted to bust those spending caps.
Now, the blowhard Republicans were yelping about how this adds to the budget deficit, to which I can only say:
So, let’s just remind ourselves:
- Just before Christmas, the Party of Hypocrites passed a party-line tax cut which is likely to add $1.5 trillion to the deficit (at which point they should have permanently forfeited their right to ever talk about the deficit again).
- Most of the increase goes to the military.
- The “entitlements” that Republicans claim are driving budget deficits (like Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare) are largely funded through trust funds into which most of us have been paying for years, and which are not technically part of the federal budget.
- The experiments with tax cut driven economic expansion, most recently tried in Kansas and Oklahoma, have been unmitigated disasters.
Kansas and Oklahoma? Really, who pays attention to what happens there?
Well, economists do.
Kansas, under Senator Sam Brownback, cut their income taxes radically and eliminated income tax on business profits from partnerships and limited liability corporations passed through to individuals. The theory was that these decreases were going to kick-start the Kansas economy. But guess what? It didn’t happen. Kansas had to scramble back, and reverse practically the entire package by 2017.
And Oklahoma is in a pickle now, since they passed a state Constitutional Amendment that requires a 75% supermajority vote of both houses to increase taxes. Then they lowered their taxes. Now they’re facing headlines like “Amid Budget Crunch, One In Five Oklahoma School Districts Have Gone To Four-Day Weeks.”
So, oh yeah, the Republican tax cuts are sure guaranteed to kickstart the United States economy.
 I’ve already posted an article recently on why ‘trickle down’ doesn’t work, but another reason is that the economy only grows when there is demand for products, and that only happens when ordinary people are making a living wage, not when billionaires are storing their savings in off-shore tax havens.