Paul Ryan got exactly what he wanted and expected -- a devastating report that he can wield as a weapon to smash programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Remember the Republicans' claim that their tax scam slashing rates for the rich and corporations would magically pay for itself?
Here is how that works: a rich guy walks into a Mercedes-Benz dealership, gets behind the wheel of a $112,400 GP Coupe, and drives away yelling to the salesman, "Don't worry. It'll pay for itself."
It's nothing but a fraud.
Well, that's what the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said this week, anyway. Without blatantly labeling the GOP tax cut as a con, the CBO did say that it would in no way, not ever pay for itself. It would, the CBO warned, dramatically raise the national budget deficit, year after year, for at least a decade.
Republicans, the party of public hand-wringing over deficits, deliberately created this gobsmackingly huge one. Privately, Republicans are the party of glee over deficits. That's because they use them as an excuse to slash and burn programs cherished by the vast majority of Americans such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Yes, Grandma, that tax cut Republicans gave to fat cats means you'll be eating cat food.
The CBO said Monday that the budget deficit this year will be $804 billion, which is $139 billion more than the agency had projected the shortfall would be before the Republican-controlled Congress passed the tax cut for the rich and a massively out-of-balance budget.
The GOP tax bill, the CBO said, would continue not paying for itself by larger and larger amounts, increasing the deficit to nearly $1 trillion next year and more than $1 trillion in 2020.
The CBO also projected that the reduced tax income and increased deficit spending would raise interest rates. Higher rates hurt everyone trying to buy a home or pay down credit card debt. They're also bad for the federal government.
Because of the higher rates, the CBO says that by 2023, interest costs on the national debt will exceed what the government spends on the military. By 2028, those payments will cost more than triple the amount paid last year.
Also, in the case of an economic downturn, high rates and high debt would make it difficult for the government to borrow to pay for an economic stimulus to turn the economy around.
Normally, during times when the economy is healthy and unemployment is low -- times like now -- the government reduces deficits, in effect, saving for a rainy day.
That's not what this Republican Congress did. Remember, GOP congressmen, who are employed by the government, hate the government. They want to drown it in a bathtub, as their cult leader Grover Norquist advocates.
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