Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) couldn’t really explain the huge $1.5 trillion the Republican tax plan is estimated to add to the federal deficit.
Asked about estimates that the Republican tax plan could increase the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion in an interview with Reuters, reported by Amanda Becker, Susan Heavey and Doina Chiacu, Speaker Paul Ryan demurred getting into details and claimed people and businesses would change their behavior if taxes change.
“The $1.5 (trillion) – without getting too deep into the details – represents incorporating the bill that we’ve always intended writing in the Ways and Means Committee in the House, which does have macroeconomic feedback. We are convinced that the models are really clear, people will change their behavior, businesses will change their behavior if taxes change.”
That’s the problem. Ryan is self-styled policy wonk who is also the Speaker of the House. It is his job to get deep into the details. It isn’t that Ryan doesn’t know the details. It is that he doesn’t want the American people to know the details.
“That $1.5 (trillion) number is sort of in the midrange of the growth we expect of the models we’ve seen.”
The models that they have seen is another non-specific answer from Ryan. What models? These are the same false models that conservatives have been selling for decades that project fantasy economic growth to materialize out of thin air if taxes are cut for the wealthy.
“We believe that we’ll get faster economic growth, that will exceed this $1.5 (trillion), so we do not anticipate a big deficit effect from this tax reform.”
Lowering the corporate income tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent is a big part of the GOP tax reform plan. However, neither businesses nor people have changed their behavior in the past in response to tax cuts for the wealthy, so this claim is not resting on solid economic evidence or even theory at this point, but rather on dubious hope.
Ryan doesn’t know when Republicans will get around to passing legislation to protect Dreamers. The Republican told Reuters, “I don’t know when we’re going to do it, we’re having lots of discussions on how to do it and the timing is something that’s just open debate.”
Ryan also told Reuters in the interview that the House would not be taking up the bipartisan Obamacare fix this year, which a nonpartisan government agency estimated on Wednesday would reduce the federal deficit by $3.8 billion over the next decade.
Ryan sees no urgency with helping to stabilize Obamacare or protect Dreamers, but he sees tax reform as an urgent matter.
Paul Ryan’s answers were a joke. The Speaker of the House couldn’t even come up with a good dodge when confronted with the reality that his tax cut for the wealthy is going to explode the deficit and harm the economy.
Paul Ryan is no policy wonk. He is a worshipper of a failed economic ideology. There is no policy solution being offered by Republicans. It is just more economic belief system fantasy that helps the wealthiest Americans while harming everyone else.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.