Tanking the Economy Won’t Help the GOP
Kevin McCarthy’s proposal for federal spending going forward – which he claims is THE thing his GOP colleagues need to raise the debt ceiling – is now largely on the street. And its the usual nibbling around the edges we’ve come to expect from the alleged fiscal hawks who just want a different looking big government then we have now.
As usual though, the GOP has a fundamental math problem – their cuts won’t really do much to limit the deficit, but do endanger social programs that enjoy wide support. Rescinding the IRS funding from the Inflation Reduction Act will greatly reduce tax revenue collections, though it is another swipe at the regulatory state that the GOP loathes. Nickle and diming the food aid and work requirements proposed in the bill will directly hurt MAGA GOP base folks, which of course McCarthy will be happy to not speak about.
But the more fundamental flaw in his math is that his proposal only take the deficit down by $4.5 Trillion over a decade. Which seems huge, except it is set against a $7.8 Trillion increase to the debt from the Trump administration’s policies over most of that same period. Now Math may not always be my strong suit, but I read that to say that McCarthy’s coalition – even if they were to get their own senate colleagues to support this (unlikely) and then peel off enough Democrats to pass it (well nigh impossible) is still short $3.3 trillion dollars. Which happens to be approximately the Federal Appropriation for a single fiscal year, including mandatory Earned Benefits. And since the federal government spends roughly 1/3rd more then it takes in across all programs and all revenue sources, he’s not actually proposing much change.
And to top it off, this forward looking appropriations negation for future year spending is tied to raising the debt ceiling – which is all about money already appropriated by Congress, which the federal government is legally obligated to spend as Congress directed. The Constitution says so. The Constitution also says the full faith and credit of the United States shall not be placed in question, which is the pickle barrel McCarthy and House Republicans are trying to tie President Biden over by linking debt ceiling increases to negotiations for the budget.
My question to the Speaker is what are you going to do when you ram this through and Senate Republicans can’t carry it anywhere? Do you really think taking the US to the credit brink is best way to do this? And why oh why do you believe that threatening the entire economy is a good way to show off how much better people will be under the GOP?