Republicans insisted that Trump's $1.5 trillion tax aimed almost entirely at giant corporations and the ultra rich would not only pay for itself, but create a substantial windfall that would benefit all Americans.
In fact, the entire reason the GOP has stood behind Trump despite him wrecking the presidency, the dignity of the Republican Party and the country itself, was the hope that they could use him to enrich themselves and party donors. The party put up with a truly insane amount of nonsense from the idiot commander in chief, calculating that it would pay off in the end and their donors would continue supporting them. "My donors are basically saying, 'Get it done or don’t ever call me again.'" admitted Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) in a rare moment of conservative honesty.
The tax cuts passed, and all was well in Republican land. Except from the slightly inconvenient fact that the huge windfalls promised by Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan never materialized and the deficit expanded at a truly alarming rate. Reported CNBC this week:
The deficit jumped to $779 billion, $113 billion or 17 percent higher than the previous fiscal period, according to a statement from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. It was larger than any year since 2012, when it topped $1 trillion. The budget shortfall rose to 3.9 percent of U.S. gross domestic product.
(Mulvaney also incredibly claimed that "America's booming economy will create increased government revenues," despite those revenues not actually existing.)
So how do Republicans deal with the incontrovertible evidence that their tax plan has failed to do what they promised it would? Easy. Blame the poor.
"This fiscal picture is a blunt warning to Congress of the dire consequences of irresponsible and unnecessary spending," Mulvaney stated. "Going forward, President Trump and this Administration will continue to work with Congress to make the difficult choices needed to bring fiscal restraint, which, when matched with increasing revenue, will reduce our deficit."
Mitch McConnell was more explicit, calling the growing deficit “disappointing," but "not a Republican problem,” in an interview with Bloomberg News. “It’s a bipartisan problem: unwillingness to address the real drivers of the debt by doing anything to adjust those programs to the demographics of America in the future.”
And by "those programs," McConnell specified that "we’re talking about Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid,” which are "the real driver of the debt by any objective standard".
Except of course, it isn't. The huge deficit was predicted by almost all reputable studies done before the tax cuts were rammed through Congress. Bloomberg polled a panel of 26 economists and found 21 of them predicted that the deficit would increase over the next 10 years as a direct result of the tax cuts. The calculation wasn't exactly difficult to do -- if you starve the federal government of money by passing trillions of dollars in tax cuts to the ultra wealthy, then it will have less money to spend on the basic functionings of government. This would be like paying half on your monthly mortgage, blaming the bank for your increased debt, then starving your children as punishment.
No one should be remotely surprised that Republicans are playing this game. This is now what the party is -- a faceless, sinister organization that uses the American political system to enrich the wealthy at all costs. McConnell and his gang of corporate mercenaries know they can get away with lying to the public because their voters will always look to blame those least able to defend themselves. Blacks, Latinos and poor people are easy political targets and McConnell is well versed in using them for political purpose.
It is likely Republicans like McConnell and the authors of Trump catastrophic tax cut understood exactly what would happen to the budget, and simply didn't care. Only free market ideologues in heavily funded think tanks believe in the magical power of tax cuts, austerity and deregulation. Adults functioning in the real world know how the game works -- tax cuts and deregulation means more money for rich people and an increase in deficits. They also understand that these policies are likely to cause an economic catastrophe, as seen in 2008 after 8 years of Bush tax cuts and a huge deregulatory binge. But they just don't care.
Remember that when you go to vote in November. And make these bastards pay.