Democratic candidates have some new ammunition in their fight to retake control of Congress during this year’s midterm elections.
A new government report shows dollar-for-dollar cuts to the nation’s social safety net programs for every dollar of tax cuts going to rich people.
And Democrats are jumping on this as an issue that they hope will propel them to victory on November 6th.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last week made comments about so-called “entitlement programs” causing the federal deficit. With the new report’s findings now coupled with McConnell’s ill-considered comments, many voters are outraged and disgusted.
The report was actually a study issued by Democrats on the congressional Joint Economic Committee. It shows that the estimated $2 trillion cost of the Republican tax cuts through 2025 is the same amount which Republicans have proposed cutting from Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
“It is a dollar-for-dollar transfer of benefits to those who need help the least paid for by those who need help the most,” said Phil Schiliro, a Democrat who’s served as President Obama’s legislative director.
The report, called “Families & Seniors Foot the Bill for GOP Tax Cuts,” concludes that the average beneficiary from social safety net programs would stand to lose $1,500 a year under proposed cuts.
The GOP tax scam was a law passed last December giving massive tax breaks to the super rich and to large corporations. Then in June the House Budget Committee (controlled by GOP members) voted for a $2 trillion cut in social safety net spending.
Democrats hope this new information will help them win back control of Congress this year. It reinforces the message that many Democratic congressional candidates have been trying to make during this election cycle.
In an NBC News poll in September, entitlement cuts are extremely unpopular, with 82 percent of Americans opposing cutting Social Security and Medicare to pay for the tax cuts.
“There were people talking about this before, but when McConnell made his comments it made it even more relevant,” said Steve Wamhoff, director for federal tax policy and one of the report authors.
A White House report estimates the deficit could spike to $1 trillion annually by 2020.
Last week McConnell commented on the deficit by saying, “It’s very disturbing, and it’s driven by the three big entitlement programs that are very popular: Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.”
Congressional Democratic leaders are telling all Democratic candidates to emphasize in their campaigns the link between the GOP tax cuts and proposed cutbacks in popular social programs.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer is hoping this issue will help his most vulnerable members in Missouri, North Dakota, Indiana and West Virginia. He is also hoping it will help Democrats win Senate seats in Arizona, Nevada and Tennessee.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.