Sure as night follows day, Republicans rediscover the temporarily suppressed horror of deficits once the ink is dry on tax giveaways to rich. And the cure, of course, is cutting what remains of social outlays.
The Republican tax bill increased the ten-year deficit by well over a trillion dollars. Now comes Martin Feldstein, Harvard eminence and former chair of Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers, writing in The Wall Street Journal to sound the alarm.
But in a splendid display of selective myopia, Feldstein places primary blame neither on the tax giveaway (the corporate rate cuts, he writes, “will spur productivity and raise real wages. They are not the main driver of the debt problem.”) nor on Trump’s increased military spending (“which will contribute relatively little to the increased debt”). Actually, only if you think $800 billion over ten yearsis “relatively little.”
So what’s driving the debt, according to Feldstein? That would be Social Security and Medicare, of course. The good professor helpfully suggests reforms, namely cuts.
A cynic might observe that Republicans have been playing these games since Reagan: 1) increase deficits with tax cuts and military build-ups; 2) blame social spending; 3) execute cuts.
If Democrats can’t explain this to the voters come November and turn it into political pay dirt, shame on them.