Opinion: Tax cut for the rich, huge debt to you

(AP)

Running for Congress in 2010, Mick Mulvaney built his campaign around his steadfast, morally based opposition to the $787 billion stimulus package put together by President Obama. At the time, the national economy was struggling to recover from the greatest collapse in 80 years, but as Mulvaney told voters in South Carolina, adding to the deficit was unacceptable even in times of crisis.

Once in Congress, Mulvaney continued to crusade against the debt and deficit. He opposed raising the debt ceiling, even if it led to default, and he tried to block emergency aid in the wake of Hurricane Sandy unless Congress found a way to offset the spending so that the deficit would not increase.

“The time has come and gone in this nation where we can walk in here one day and spend nine or 17 or 60 billion dollars and not think about who’s paying for it,” he preached at the time.

In the past, I’ve given such statements at least a grudging respect. I thought they were wrong, ill-informed and extremist, but I gave Mulvaney and others credit for at least being sincere and honest in that extremism.

I was so, so wrong.

Today, Mulvaney serves as director of the Office of Management and Budget, where part of his role is to lobby on behalf of massive tax cuts that are projected to increase the national debt not by “nine or 17 or 60 billion dollars,” but by somewhere  between $1.5 trillion to $2.4 trillion.¹ Suddenly, this stalwart, even extremist opponent of deficits not only finds them acceptable, he has become their enthusiastic advocate.

“I’ve been very candid about this. We need to have new deficits because of that. We need to have the growth,” Mulvaney said this week. “If we simply look at this as being deficit-neutral, you’re never going to get the type of tax reform and tax reductions that you need to get to sustain 3 percent economic growth.”

Again, in the depths of the Great Recession, with double-digit unemployment, a stock market in collapse and a nation deeply shaken, Mulvaney and his party — including men such as House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — fought like hell against passage of a stimulus package to stabilize the ecoomy, allegedly because the stimulus would add to the deficit.

Today, with no crisis in sight, a 4.4 percent jobless rate and a soaring stock market, those same people insist that a much larger, deficit-financed stimulus is an absolute necessity. Why the difference? It is impossible to escape the fact that under a Democratic president, even in a time of immense national crisis, Republicans found an excuse that they could use not to help the country, an excuse that they have turned entirely upside down now that the crisis has passed and a Republican is in the White House.

Finally, we should note the goal of their new campaign. Next year roughly half of the benefits of the GOP’s tax-cut proposal will accrue to the richest 1 percent of taxpayers , those with annual incomes of $730,000 or more.

By 2027, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, the top 1 percent will be collecting 80 percent of the benefits. Also by 2027, with deficits soaring and Baby Boomers drawing Social Security and needing Medicare, the budgetary pressure to cut entitlements and the safety net will have become enormous.

It’s a perfect storm: Huge tax cuts for the rich and a massive increase in the debt, taking hold just as safety-net and entitlement programs for the rest of America come under immense financial strain. And you can see it coming from a decade away.

 

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¹The model used by the Tax Policy Center predicts a $2.4 trillion increase in the deficit  — over and above the already projected increase. Republicans claim it will be $1.5 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office has not released its projection. And last week, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin projected that the huge tax cuts would REDUCE the national debt by $1 trillion, which is profoundly absurd but par for the course under this bozo administration.

Reader Comments 0

1731 comments
Sheva Bree
Sheva Bree

Trickle down doesn't work. The only thing that trickles down from the top is warm, yellow, and smells of contempt.

William Mouret
William Mouret

AJC street cred is in the toilet \U0001f6bd with this fake news

FloydLiberal
FloydLiberal

3% of adults own 50% of guns. Given how many guns are out there, there are some sizable arsenals in America.

Sandye McCleskey
Sandye McCleskey

I ll not bow down to the rich aristocracy. ...like a serf...either they pay their taxes like everyone else. ..or build guillotines

Mike Novak
Mike Novak

Obama ran up the dept to help get the country going after Bush killed the economy. Trump wants it to go way higher to line his and his rich buddies pockets

Stephen Scruggs
Stephen Scruggs

Do not believe this . Media is the enemy. The rich are left out of the tax cuts. This is a lie. Liberals lie to destroy our country.

Aimee Marie Germain
Aimee Marie Germain

The plan is available to read and if you read it you will see massive tax cuts to the wealthy.

David Anderson
David Anderson

Have you looked at the plan. The repeal of the Estate Tax alone is a big tax cut to the rich. Your media source is wrong.

John Hyatt
John Hyatt

All of sudden Jay is worried about a huge debt? Its interesting that 8 years of Obama added $9 trillion dollars (86% growth in the debt). Since when is he worried about debt? LOL! We already know Washington cares little about debt or deficit. Neither party exhibits the discipline required to manage either one. And Dem or left leaning person who is all concerned about debt now and wasnt when Obama was in charge remains inconsistent at best. And the GOP only gives lip service to any real policies about debt or deficit. They are just as useless.

David Anderson
David Anderson

No worse than the reps who repeated the mantra that deficits don't matter...until Obama was elected. At least Clinton and Gingrich were able to work together to address it.

Thomas Bound
Thomas Bound

It is funny to hear Republicans who whined about deficits until President Obama left office, then suddenly advocated UUGE increases in the deficit, to call anyone else hypocrites. They really are that astoundingly shameless.

Darrin Kent
Darrin Kent

Remember when they use to run that commercial with actor William Devane with the debt counter behind him when Obama was in office? Haven't seen it since Trump was elected\U0001f609

Sheva Bree
Sheva Bree

OP, You're dumber than a bag of hammers.

Patrick Attwood
Patrick Attwood

I think you got it backwards Jack. The Republican spent the last eight years screaming about deficit spending while the Obama Administration reduced the annual deficit from 1.4 trillion a year to 0.4 trillion a year. It was the largest deficit reduction through budget control in the history of the country. Now the same pink Republicans who squealed at deficit spending over things like veterans benefits and infrastructure projects now want to add 3 trillion dollars to deficit spending so that the top 1% can get tax cuts and the rest of America will see a reduction in their spending power. Conservatives have to pretend to have some conviction somewhere. If you are opposed to deficit spending there is absolutely no reason why you should be applauding deficit spending in the name of the wealthy getting wealthier.

Bryan Sorohan
Bryan Sorohan

All of a sudden Republicans who screamed bloody murder about deficits for 8 straight years are just fine with skyrocketing them so that rich folks can buy more yachts? LOL, what a party of gullible morons Republicans are.

Timothy Evans
Timothy Evans

Bookman is as dense as Stone Mountain. His Marxist roots absolutely prevent him from approaching even a basis understanding of economics. He would thrive as an editorialist in Venezuela supporting the Maduro regime.

David Anderson
David Anderson

So then why didn't it work when Reagan and Bush(43) tried a similar system? Or do you buy into the matra that deficits don't matter.

Kenny Smith
Kenny Smith

What didn't work was that Congress continued to increase spending.

Timothy Evans
Timothy Evans

The Democrats promised reduced spending. They lied. It's what they do. It's part of their DNA.

David Anderson
David Anderson

Timothy, Bushonomics had a republican house and senate. They promised responsibility spending. They were worse than the dems.

Thies Arndt
Thies Arndt

and you still believe in the laffer curve I bet

Sheva Bree
Sheva Bree

European Socialist Democracies have higher quality of life, longer life expectancy, their kids do better in school, and are just generally happier than us.

David Anderson
David Anderson

So you don't remember the spiralling deficits and the numerous tax increases in Reagan's second term. How about the Bush and Clinton tax increases just to get us back towards a balanced budget.

David Anderson
David Anderson

So, because I pointed out the fallacy of Trumponomics, Obama must be my hero? Interesting logic.

Drew Parker
Drew Parker

David Anderson hurr durr libruhl that's why.

Vashti Poole
Vashti Poole

You don't hear any of the wealthy folk talking about our struggles on this! We got them to where they are... Now look how they are treating us!

Buddy Hart
Buddy Hart

They are what keeps this country going,

James Starkey
James Starkey

Lies from those who have nothing invested and nothing to lose.

David Anderson
David Anderson

It's basically the same type of plan Reagan and Bush(43) used. The results were the same. Spiraling deficits. Why should we expect anything different a third time?

James Starkey
James Starkey

David Anderson, have you ever worked for a poor man? Do you work for a poor man now? Do you even work? Just trying to figure out what mud puddle you are scopping this stupid from.

David Anderson
David Anderson

James, no mud involved. The results of Reaganomics and Bushonomics are all out there. Trump himself has been talking up his tax cuts and his plan to vastly increase military spending. Or are you calling the president mud?

James Starkey
James Starkey

You talk about it not working. But my memory says something totally different. Just curious. It sounds like a regurgitated leftist talking point. I just remember more jobs and a stronger economy with total military domination.

David Anderson
David Anderson

Apparently you forgot the spiralling deficits and resulting tax increases.

James Starkey
James Starkey

Tax increases are always the work of the democrat party. I know Bush got sucked into increases, but not the norm. Nobody was concerned when Obozo doubled the debt. And that was after he called Bush irresponsible.

David Anderson
David Anderson

James, would have preferred Reagan, Bush(41) and Clinton continue to let the debt spiral? And remind me which president was handed a projected surplus and quickly turned it into deficits.

James Starkey
James Starkey

If that is your hang up, you really need to turn off media and look at the plan for yourself.

James Starkey
James Starkey

Bottom line, right now, today we need to get this money back to the US. It is what the plan is designed to do, and it is what the country needs to do. History has little bearing, esp when we both know that establishment republicans are really just democrats that manage to keep their index fingers out of their noses.

David Anderson
David Anderson

James, the problem is, cuts to the 1% don't do that. Reagan and Bush proved it.