The tax cuts President Trump is working on with Republican leaders in Congress have a major problem. Charles J. Sykes explains in the L.A. Times:
The tax plan helps balloon federal deficits, and it does nothing to address the rising costs of entitlements as the population grows older and sicker.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates that the proposed GOP House tax cuts would “result in debt reaching the size of the economy by 2028 and exceeding its post-World War II record a year or two later.”
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that even without those tax cuts, an aging population will push the deficit from 3.6% to 5.7% of the country’s economic output by 2017. Spending for mandatory programs will increase from $2.5 trillion in 2017 to $4.3 trillion in 2027, and interest payments on the national debt alone will double as a share of the GDP.
He goes on to write that there “is a lot to like in the tax bill” for conservatives — lowering the corporate tax rate, for instance — but that these cuts aren’t likely “to pay for themselves.” What’s more, there’s literally “no one, including conservative economists,” who think that the U.S. can simply grow its way “out of the looming entitlement crisis.”
These tax cuts could very well end up being Trump’s signature achievement, but only if he forces Congress to agree to significant spending cuts. That may not be popular among a certain part of the electorate, but leaders — especially those who dub themselves “conservative” — have the obligation to actually lead. This means telling voters the truth, even if they don’t want to hear it.
If Trump, Senator Rand Paul and Rep. Paul Ryan are as brave as they want us all to believe, they have to address this issue publicly. They have to pursue significant spending cuts (on entitlement programs) and explain to voters that to not do so will eventually cause the United States to go bankrupt.
Obviously, this means that Republicans will have to fight harder than they’ve done in the recent past. But hey, do they want to “make America great again” — or was that nothing but a nice-sounding slogan?