The tax plan put forward this week by Republican leaders in Congress would add nearly $4 trillion to the national debt and would be offset only by a $300 billion spending freeze, a Washington Post analysis states.
While the cost of the Tax Hike Prevention Act of 2010 hasn’t been calculated yet, the Post reports that a similar but “slightly more expensive” plan analyzed by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found it would cost $3.9 trillion over 10 years, making it roughly four times as expensive as the Democrats’ health reforms, which will cost less than $1 trillion over the same period.
The Republican tax bill, introduced this week by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), aims to prevent the Democratic-controlled Congress from letting the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 expire. The tax reductions will expire at the end of the year if they are not extended.
The Post notes that an accompanying spending freeze proposed by McConnell would save $300 billion, which the newspaper describes as a “drop in the bucket” compared to the cost of the tax cut extension.
The plan’s hefty price tag, coming at a time when many in the Republican grassroots are growing alarmed about skyrocketing budget deficits, has provided the Democrats with fuel for the mid-term elections, as they seek to paint the GOP as dishonest or hypocritical when claiming to be the party of fiscal responsibility.
The Democrats’ plan for the tax cuts hasn’t been fully worked out yet, but the Post reports that President Obama’s favored option — allowing the tax cuts to expire for households earning more than $250,000 a year, and making them permanent for everyone else — would raise the deficit about $1.4 trillion.
Pat Garofalo at ThinkProgress reports that the GOP’s plan includes a cut to the estate tax “that would gift $91 billion to the richest 0.25 percent of households.”
The Republican tax plan comes despite recent polls consistently showing that a plurality of Americans want to see the tax cuts for the rich expire. The latest poll, conducted for CBS News and the New York Times, finds 53 percent in favor of rescinding the tax cuts, with 38 percent opposing the move.
In a US News & World Report column, Democratic strategist Peter Fenn describes McConnell’s proposal as “scary” and says it uses “Halloween math.”
Is this a conservative taxing and spending prescription? Is this coming from the same party that has been complaining about out-of-control deficits? Who urges us to tighten our belts? Who professes to solve our economic problems?
This is ideological politics, not pragmatic public policy. It is the single-minded mantra of tax cuts as the answer to every problem, when it actually exacerbates the problem.
Yet despite the criticism and the price tag, GOP leaders appear to be rallying to the plan. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), who just this past weekend indicated he would be willing to accept the Democrats’ plan to end the tax cuts for the rich, appeared to have changed his mind by Wednesday. The Washington Post reports:
At a news conference on Capitol Hill, Boehner repeatedly emphasized that he would support only legislation that kept in place all of the tax cuts. He sidestepped questions about how he and Republicans would vote if Democrats insisted on pushing through a measure that ends the tax cut on household incomes of more than $250,000 a year.
Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows committed campaign finance crimes: watchdog group
The government ethics watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint on Friday accusing White House chief of staff Mark Meadows of campaign finance crimes for allegedly spending thousands of dollars in campaign funds on personal expenses, including clubs, gourmet cupcakes, a jeweler in Washington and lodging at the president's hotel.
Win or lose — Trump is about to unleash hell
With poll numbers staying put and the odds of a Joe Biden win in Tuesday's election looking good — possibly by a decisive margin — there's mounting dread about how Donald Trump will behave after a defeat. After all, Trump is a sociopathic narcissist with the emotional control of a — well, I won't insult toddlers with the comparison — and he lives in mortal terror of being viewed as a loser. He's already made clear that he will refuses to concede, no matter what, and he's grasping desperately for any way to get legal ballots thrown out so he can steal the election.
GOP senator offended LDS community after likening Trump to a ‘selfless’ Book of Mormon hero: report
Politics and religion are colliding out west after comments a Republican senator made while stumping for the president.
"Sen. Mike Lee drew criticism from members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this week after comparing President Donald Trump to Captain Moroni, a heroic and selfless figure in the Book of Mormon," The Arizona Republic reported Friday evening.
"To my Mormon friends, my Latter-day Saint friends, think of him as Captain Moroni," Lee (R-UT) said, pointing to Trump. "He seeks not power, but to pull it down. He seeks not the praise of the world or the ‘fake news,’ but he seeks the well-being and the peace of the American people."