One thing that I generally agree with the GOP on is that the size of our national debt truly is alarming, standing at $18 trillion or so, or about $56,000 per person. That’s a lot of money, no matter how you slice or dice it.
The problem is, in any conversation about the debt, GOP representatives go on to call for lower taxes, showing that the debt is a problem that they’re only willing to give lip service to. By that, I mean that if they were truly concerned about the debt, if it was the ticking time bomb that they say it is, the first order of business would be to pay it off.
That’s not what they propose. Instead, they call for tax cuts. Well, to be honest, they call for tax cuts no matter the situation. The economy is booming and we have a budget surplus? Cut taxes. Enter an economic slowdown? Cut taxes. Seems like their answer for everything is to cut taxes while complaining about our growing debt.
When Bill Clinton left office, there was a budget surplus for the first time in decades, and George W. Bush’s first priority was to return money to the American people. Mind you, we hadn’t even made a dent in the national debt, and indeed, after the Bush tax cuts, deficits became a normal way of life.
Our national debt increased by over 400% under the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and the first George Bush, going from $997 billion in 1981 to $4 trillion in 1992. After Bill Clinton’s eight years the debt increased from $4.4 trillion in 1993 to $5.6 trillion, , which is only an increase of 25%.
Bring on George W. Bush, and the debt increased further, from $5.8 trillion in 2001 to $11.9 trillion in 2009, a 205% increase. And while Obamas second term in not yet complete, the debt has indeed increased further, from $11.9 trillion in 2009 to $18.1 trillion in 2015, an increase of just over 50%.
Despite overwhelming evidence, the GOP fancies themselves the party of fiscal responsibility, and for some reason, their base believes this. When it’s a Republican in office running up the debt, barely anyone besides Ron Paul complains, yet when a Democrat takes over, the GOP is up in arms about reckless spending.
Here we stand, $18 trillion in debt, and the Donald is paying lip service to it, telling his base that we are close to becoming the new Greece, while laying out an economic plan that will dramatically reduce government revenue, slashing not only corporate taxes from 35% to 15%, but reducing the personal income tax rate of small business owners and freelance contractors (specifically, the pass-through tax rate on partnerships and LLC’s, which pay no Federal income tax themselves) to 15% as well. It’s estimated that the Trump tax plan will cost over $9.5 trillion over 10 years.
So much for paying down our debt.
People used to complain about the “Marriage Penalty” as far as taxes went, Trump’s tax plan essentially penalizes full-time employees, all of whom will pay up to 25% tax on their income under Trumps tax plan, while everyone else )from contractors to business owners) will significantly lower rates.
Trumps tax plan seems custom tailored to benefit himself and the team of “Economic Advisors” that he has assembled. While he bashes Hillary for taking speaking fees from Wall Street investment banks, his own team includes hedge fund billionaires like John Paulson and Carl Icahn. When he once whipped his supporters into a frenzy by pledging reduce the special tax treatment that Hedge Fund Managers receive, his plan lowers their taxes dramatically.
It’s about time that the GOP gets honest with us.
They don’t care about the addressing the debt and they never have. The amount of debt that democratic administrations have accumulated pales in consideration of what the GOP amasses when they’re in charge of economic policy. Yet, that they somehow have been allowed to present themselves to the American people as the champions of fiscal responsibility.
GOP leaders like House Speaker Paul Ryan and John McCain show their true colors when they can look the other way on all of Trumps missteps and outright insults, so long as he embraces the GOP’s budget-busting tax proposals.