Republicans’ plan defunds safety nets to protect corporate tax cuts

Published 6:45 am Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Remember when the Republicans said their huge tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy wouldn’t add a dime to the deficit? Remember when the Republicans said, “Tax cuts always pay for themselves?” And recall that these same Republicans who didn’t want President Obama to spend a dime to get the nation out of the worst recession in almost 100 years because it would “add to the deficit” are now spending money like drunken sailors.

As it turns out, they were lying and their $1.5 trillion tax cut has added — are you ready for this — $1.5 trillion to the deficit. Now with the deficit soaring and interest rates rising, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are wringing their hands and declaring, “something must be done about the deficit.” And so what is their prescription? It is not to rescind the unneeded tax cuts for the corporations and the wealthy; rather it is to cut Social Security and Medicare — the programs that are largely paid for through FICA taxes and which currently have a $3 trillion surplus!

The whole sordid exercise was a con and a shell game and this was their nefarious plan all along: to produce a huge and growing deficit and then to convince America that it was the two social safety net programs they depend on that caused it and to slash them both — a huge lie even by Trumpian standards.

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If that were not bad enough, their so-called “balanced budget plan” rejected last year, but soon to reappear next year would codify the theft of the $3 trillion Social Security surplus by forbidding such monies from being used for the purpose for which they were intended. Additionally, the Republicans are thinking about eliminating the FICA tax, which finances Social Security and part of Medicare.

It sounds crazy doesn’t it? And yet it is true. The reason is that at the highest levels Republicans have always hated social safety net programs and they have been looking for a way to reduce or get rid of them since the passage of “The New Deal.”

So this is their plan — and it could work if America doesn’t wake up and realize what these Oligarchs and outright thieves are up to. My advice is to hold on tight to your Social Security and Medicare benefits because Mitch McConnell and his band of robbers are coming for them.

Jim Porter