White House Response to Double Deficit: Tax Cuts Pay For Themselves

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The federal budget deficit was $211 billion during the month August according to a new report the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released last night. That's nearly double the federal deficit of August 2017 and, for the year, the deficit has increased to $895 billion. That's $221 billion more than this point last year.

According to the CBO, corporate tax receipts have dropped by 30 percent and that's the single largest contributor to the deficit, but the White House would have you see things a different way.

You see, if you squint hard enough, or if you snort enough coke, the report will tell you exactly the opposite.

Kevin Hassett, the White House chief economic adviser, was careful in a briefing with reporters on Monday to say the corporate tax cuts — but not the whole package — would pay for themselves with higher growth.

“I think that the notion that the corporate tax side has about paid for itself is clearly in the data,” he said. “On the individual side, there was about a trillion-dollar cost. About $700 billion of that was a refundable child credit that got expanded at the last minute to get the votes they needed to pass it.”

No, that is not in the data.

Kevin Hassett is an idiot at best and a liar at worst, because the individual tax cuts did not come anywhere close to a trillion dollars. That is the opposite of what happened. The tax cuts were heavily weighted in favor of corporations and private business. And for Christ's sake, the Child Tax Credit (CTC) totaled only $52 billion in 2017 so the idea that it was expanded by $700 billion is a fantasy. Who the fuck is this guy?

Anyway, behind the sharp drop in corporate tax receipts, interest payments on the national debt have also increased by 19 percent which the GOP's tax cuts are obviously contributing to.

The nation will be paying for the debt we're incurring right now long after the tax cuts are eventually rolled back, just like we'll still be paying for the Iraq war through the middle of this century.

Republicans wouldn't know what to do if they weren't jeopardizing our future financial stability.

  • muselet

    Steve Benen:

    I’ve seen some suggestions that Hassett’s presentation was little more than a campaign event from the press briefing room, and while there’s certainly some truth to that, I think in some ways it was worse than that. It struck me as an attempt from a conservative economist, unconcerned with his reputation, to make a president feel better about himself.

    As TPM’s Josh Marshall put it, “This whole presentation was prepared with the aim of salving the president’s ego. It’s sad. Truly sad. The gist of the whole presentation isn’t ‘The economy is doing great!’ It’s ‘President Obama had definitely, absolutely nothing to do with this. It’s all Trump. It’s all Trump.’”

    Kevin Hassett had a job to do, and did it to the best of his ability and with great enthusiasm. That his tongue didn’t burst into flames right there in the Briefing Room is a true mystery.

    Republicans wouldn’t know what to do if they weren’t jeopardizing our future financial stability.

    Sure they would. They’d start unnecessary and poorly-planned wars without establishing adequate supply lines and piss off enough governments to create a regional conflict. They’ve done it before, you know.


  • Badgerite

    They are intentionally running up the deficit to fund their corporate tax cuts and they know it. The small crumbs thrown to the rest of us are to allow them to pretend they had some concern for the middle class. It is only a pretense and you can see in this official’s remarks exactly who will be blamed when the bill comes due. Not the corporations or CEO’s or the ultra rich whom the addition to the debt with interest was incurred to benefit. No. It will be the struggling middle class and their crumbs. And the remaining crumbs are what the gop will come after to pay down the debt when the check arrives. Count on it. I can’t imagine that anyone can’t see this clearly now, but racism, I suppose, clouds the vision.

    • Let’s not forget that since they know that a Dem typically follows a Republican, they can then blame the Dems in the next presidential election cycle. And their idiot base will believe them. So the madness continues ad infinitum.

      • Draxiar

        Because of this I think the Democrats need to start beating the piss out of the Republicans about debts and deficits and cut through the myth of Republican being the party of fiscal responsibility.

        • They need to hammer the sh*t out of that for the next 2 years at least.

    • David Greenberg

      And what inevitably follows – thanks Paul Ryan you wonky turd- is the rethuglican lament that we are spending too much so SS, Medicare and Medicaid must be cut. Many, many of the people who will be hurt by this are dumpster supporters and they deserve the pain. Unfortunately there are many who will be hurt who don’t support him.

    • Aynwrong

      And liberals. Don’t forget liberals. I swear, if liberals didn’t exist the GOP would have to invent us.