After years of issuing dire warnings about the federal deficit, the Republican-controlled Congress in Washington, D.C., is either suffering from a severe case of mass amnesia or is fully embracing rank hypocrisy. The tax bill and other policies pushed through by Republicans will increase the deficit by a projected $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years according to a new study from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB).
The Republican tax bill alone is responsible for almost half the increase.
When President Obama was in the White House, Rep. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) was prone to issuing dire warnings about the deficit. In 2015, Knight was adamant in his support of reducing the deficit, warning that ignoring it means “our children are going to have a much, much different country.”
Yet when Trump needed his vote to increase the deficit by more than $1 trillion for a tax cut aimed primarily to benefit Wall Street executives, Knight was more than happy to abandon his previous principles to comply.
The deficit isn’t the only way Knight abandoned his principles in this tax bill. Knight once pledged to protect his constituents from higher taxes related to state and local deductions, calling it his “number one priority” for the bill. Yet when the final bill raised taxes on millions of Californians, he turned his back on the pledge and voted both for higher taxes for Californians and exploding the national deficit.
Orange County Republican Mimi Walters is also fully embracing hypocrisy. When she first ran for Congress, she earned the endorsement of the Orange County Register in part because she “comes down on the side of the GOP’s deficit hawks, favoring a plan that would balance the budget within 10 years, while slowing the growth in the federal government’s staggering $17 trillion debt.”
Vox sums up the Republican hypocrisy on deficit spending rather succinctly.
They are shepherding forward a tax bill that is expected to add more than a trillion dollars to the national debt in the first 10 years and, if their tax cuts are extended as they hope, far more after that. They are doing so despite years of arguing that the national debt is the most severe problem facing the United States, despite running for reelection promising balanced budgets and fiscal restraint.
“The hypocrisy is astounding,” says Marc Goldwein, policy director at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
The deficit created by Republican policies is so high that a major credit ratings agency has mulled downgrading America’s credit rating.
Thanks to the irresponsible fiscal policy championed by Knight, Walters, and other Republicans, “Revenue is lower, spending is higher, deficits are larger, and the national debt is rapidly headed toward a new record,” according to CFRB.
The hypocrisy is indeed astounding.