Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is suggesting all 50 states should drop dead, just like former President Gerald Ford infamously said to New York decades ago. The Kentucky Republican fully backed bills giving corporations large and small trillions of dollars in coronavirus bailouts, but now he's drawing the line.
As Senate Majority Leader throughout the entire Trump administration McConnell fully backed the GOP's trillions of dollars in tax cuts for the rich, while falsely claiming they would pay for themselves, and proclaiming the ensuing deficits were "not a Republican problem."
McConnell, meanwhile, has done nothing to rein in this administration's explosion in spending.
Late last year he also managed to corral "more than $1 billion worth of federal spending and tax breaks to his Kentucky constituents, just in time for Christmas and ahead of a potentially tough reelection campaign."
But now that states are experiencing probably the largest loss of revenue since the Great Depression and are spending massive amounts to protect front line workers and the citizenry as a whole – in part thanks to the federal government refusing to provide and then out-bidding them of items like face masks and ventilators – the Republican Senate Majority Leader says the well is dry.
And to him the well is very partisan.
The 78-year old Kentucky Republican whose net worth in 2018 was estimated at over $34 million, told Hewitt governors "would love to have free money," and said he'd like the states to declare bankruptcy – which they cannot currently do.
“I would certainly be in favor of allowing states to use the bankruptcy route,” the Republican Majority Leader said. “It’s saved some cities, and there’s no good reason for it not to be available. My guess is their first choice would be for the federal government to borrow money from future generations to send it down to them now so they don’t have to do that. That’s not something I’m going to be in favor of."
On his Senate website, a press release calls money for states "Blue State Bailouts," even though his own very red state is exceedingly poor: "Kentucky is ranked the second most federally dependent state in the nation."
McConnell also told Hewitt, "I said yesterday we’re going to push the pause button here, because I think this whole business of additional assistance for state and local governments need to be thoroughly evaluated."
And he decided to frame his answer by attacking state pensions – a topic Hewitt himself introduced for reasons unknown.
"There’s not going to be any desire on the Republican side to bail out state pensions by borrowing money from future generations," said McConnell.