Any American paying attention to the GOP over the past decade would agree that there are myriad, largely unprintable, negative adjectives to describe the un-American religious fascism they are pushing on America. Some people may errantly conclude that Republicans, as typical conservatives, are so set in their ways they are naturally unwilling to change, but although that is a very accurate conclusion, it is not the case when it comes to the nation’s deficit.
If nothing else, Republicans are capricious when it comes to adding long-term debt depending on which of their benefactors stand to benefit. Now that their primary benefactors, the Koch brothers, have bought Republicans control of Congress, their heroic deficit hawk once again changed his tune and mocked Democratic concerns that passing more Bush-era unfunded tax cuts for the rich and corporations will unnecessarily add to the deficit; something phony deficit hawk Paul Ryan supports with religious fervor.
On Friday, House Republicans, led by Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee Ryan, passed the first in a long line of permanent and unfunded tax cuts for the rich he admits will blow up the deficit. This is the same deficit Ryan has spent the past six years screaming is the reason the nation is so desperately broke and in debt, that slashing absolutely all domestic spending was an existential necessity to the country’s short and long-term economic survival. In fact, Republicans enacted austerity rules that included not one penny for natural disaster relief unless they could cut an equal, or larger, amount from domestic programs that benefit other Americans. It is why there has been absolutely no spending on anything except the perpetual war machine, still unfunded and in-place Bush tax cuts, and hundreds of billions of dollars in church and oil subsidies.
Yesterday represented a remarkably Republican turnaround and rapid return to Bush-era economic malfeasance; except that Republican tax cuts are not only unfunded, they are permanent and only benefit the largest corporations and the richest one-percent of Americans. Ryan even took the opportunity prior to passing deficit-increasing tax cuts to chastise and mock Democrats for expressing their concern that the permanently-unfunded tax cuts will permanently increase the deficit Republicans claim is destroying America.
Ryan had the temerity to call the Democrats’ concern about permanently unfunded tax cuts for the rich blowing up the deficit “baloney” after spending six long years calling spending on infrastructure, Veterans, schools, and Medicaid absurd because they added to the deficit; even when they were revenue neutral (funded). Ryan also mocked Democrats for objecting to tax incentives they once backed on a temporary basis to stimulate the economy after Bush-Republicans created the Great Recession. Nearly a third of the new tax cuts are taxpayer gifts to the uber-rich with no impact on the economy whatsoever except they reduce revenue the government needs to operate.
The Republican deficit hawk champion berated Democrats for reiterating, on unfunded tax cuts, precisely what Republicans have said for six years about spending on disaster relief, healthcare and food assistance, Veterans’ jobs bills, and infrastructure repair. He mocked Democrats saying, “If you dare try to make these things in the tax code permanent, it’s ‘You’re not paying for it; it’s a budget buster; you’re being irresponsible; you’re jeopardizing tax reform.’ Process, process, process. Here’s the problem. What we’re trying to do here, we’re trying to grow the economy. We’re trying to get people back to work.”
Anyone with a pulse and semi-operational brain knew it was coming and there it was; the failed thirty-plus year trickle down argument. The same one Republicans spent the entirety of George W. Bush’s administration destroying the economy with to enrich the wealthy elite and blow up the long-term debt. Debt, by the way, that is still accruing including the Bush-era tax cuts still in place after the 2012 budget deal negotiated in a “bipartisan mega-deal.”
Ryan’s hypocrisy was on display as well when he accused Democrats of saying about unfunded taxation what Republicans say about disaster relief; “if you try to make them (tax cuts for the rich) permanent you better make somebody else to pay for them.” He said that was an “inconsistent position in his mind.” He also denied that Democratic claims that reduced revenue will make tax reform more difficult is a lie and reiterated the Republican position that Americans and both sides ultimately wanted the unfunded tax cuts for the rich to be permanent.
He defended the Republican position with more typical Republican bovine excrement saying that the only thing Republicans are trying to do in giving permanently unfunded deficit raising tax cuts “is produce certainty. We need to give businesses certainty. We need to help them plan for the future. We need to stop this crazy game of extending a tax benefit that was temporary.” Yes, temporary to give unwarranted relief to struggling businesses a chance to survive the Great Recession. Over a third of the unfunded tax cuts are to allow the super-rich to write-off donations no American in the bottom 90% of income earners will never see in a hundred lifetimes and are unrelated to businesses whatsoever. Even the permanent corporate tax cuts are for the largest businesses and industries to write off capital expenditures that most likely include investing in robotics and mechanization to replace the human workforce.
It is true that during the past six years while Republicans were slashing any and all domestic spending due to “deficit worries,” they ignored the deficit to perpetuate Bush’s tax cuts for the rich, billions in unfunded oil and church subsidies, or wars to enrich the private defense industry; that is in part because Democrats failed to call out the rank hypocrisy because many are heavily invested themselves. Now that some Democrats are beginning to turn the tables and parrot the Republicans’ regard for reducing the deficit, Republicans cry foul and mock them because deficits just don’t matter. Deficits have never mattered to Republicans if they increase to benefit the rich and corporations, or pay for wars to enrich the oil and defense industry; that is just how America operates.
No Democrat should be shocked when Republicans begin more spending cuts in the very near future due to make up revenue from the permanently unfunded tax cuts they claim will create jobs and grow the economy. It is too bad Democrats are too timid to cite the deficit increase unfunded tax cuts wreaked on the nation during the Bush era. Or the current economic damage Republican states like Kansas, Texas, and Louisiana to name a few, are suffering from tax cuts Ryan still says will “grow the economy and get people back to work.”
What is pathetic is that many Americans, including about 30 wealthy Democrats who voted for the unfunded tax cuts, continue falling for the thirty-year lie that raising the deficit to enrich the one-percent will do anything other than add to the richest Americans’ fortunes. The lack of outrage among the population proves that as a whole, Americans are inherently stupid, not gullible, uniformed or foolish; just plain stupid. It is likely that behind closed doors Paul Ryan is mocking the American people’s idiocy the way he mocks Democrats for being concerned about blowing up the deficit.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.