Ryan: Our Deficit-Financed Tax Cuts Are Secretly Deficit-Neutral

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

It remains to be seen what the final Republican tax cut bill negotiated between the House and Senate will look like, but we know one thing for sure: both chambers approved a budget resolution for fiscal 2018 that creates procedural space for $1.5 trillion in deficit-financed tax cuts.

In other words, their bill will add at least $1.5 trillion to the national debt regardless of what the language of the final bill looks like.

Or will it?

Some Republicans say they won't vote for a bill that increases our deficits and debt, but don't worry; Speaker Ryan says they're only pretending to raise the deficit to trick the Senate Parliamentarian.

On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked Ryan why he is pushing a bill that contradicts his prior promise that the bill would be “deficit neutral” and abandoning his longstanding claim of being a deficit hawk. [...]

So, instead, he explained, “we did not want to leave it to chance that some bureaucrat — un-elected — would deny our ability to bring a tax bill through that is pro growth and that reflects those pro-growth estimates.” But, he said, “we are absolutely convinced–and we’ll have economic models that will show this–that this will help grow the economy.”

The $1.5 trillion in deficit spending -- the $1.5 trillion they included in their budget resolution -- is the real deal.

The alternate universe in which economic growth trickles down into treasury coffers and wipes out that $1.5 trillion? That's the fake.

The $1.5 trillion in deficit-spending they included in their budget resolution is on paper. It's in writing. They voted for it and passed it. It's documented. It's real. Whatever Paul Ryan says will happen after they pass a tax cut bill is immaterial to what they've actually done and what they're planning to do. It's magical thinking.

I don't think this is going to work out the way he thinks it is. No one believes this shit. Polling tells us most Republican voters don't even believe this shit anymore. That doesn't necessarily mean they oppose tax cuts, but they don't believe it's going to trickle down.

  • Badgerite

    Paul Ryan isn’t about good policy. He is about sliding through Congress policies that are supported by very few and that will benefit very few. Please note this Adam Khan tweet.
    “The American Society of Civil Engineers’ latest infrastructure report card gives U.S. a +D …..imagine where we’ll be with more “tax cuts”.
    You grow an economy by providing a good foundation ( see infrastructure). You grow an individual’s fortune by giving them a whopping amount of money ( see tax cuts). The latter is what Ryan wants.

  • So what do people think? Is Paul Ryan looking at being made President after Trump and Pence go down? He’s got to have considered that possibility, right?

  • muselet

    “Pro-growth” twice (in the same sentence, no less), “economic models” (the plural is a nice touch) and “grow the economy.” Paul Ryan would have made Wingnut Bingo if he hadn’t fumbled “unelected bureaucrat” (“some buraucrat—un-elected” doesn’t count, according to the judges).

    Soulless bastard.


  • Badgerite

    It will “help grow” a few people’s economies. Everybody else will suffer. He knows that and doesn’t care.
    As to “elected”. Yeah. That will carry weight when they actually let everyone vote and don’t try their damnedest to suppress the votes of those who don’t agree with them. Which is most of the country.

  • Georgie

    My eye is twitching.