After Taxes, GOP Wants to Gut Social Programs Because They’re ‘Worried’ About the Deficit Again

As Congressional Republicans enter the final stages of passing their abysmal tax reform plan, you may be wondering what’s next on the GOP agenda. Well, wonder no more: Republicans revealed this week that they’ll be kicking off 2018 by slashing Medicare, Medicaid and welfare programs.

In an interview, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said, “We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit… Frankly, it’s the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt, so we spend more time on the health care entitlements because that’s really where the problem lies, fiscally speaking.”

Can you believe the nerve of that guy?

The Republican Party is literally in the process of passing a tax plan that will, even by the most modest estimates, increase the federal deficit by over $1 trillion, and here he is pretending to be worried about America’s deficit. The single best thing he could do to avoid increasing the country’s debt is to stop the tax reform plan in its tracks.

Republicans have insisted these massive corporate tax cuts are necessary, even though U.S. corporations were already raking in record profits while paying record low taxes. Their argument is that despite adding to the deficit, the tax cuts will stimulate the economy. Alas, the White House, nonpartisan groups and economists of all affiliations have been unable to demonstrate how the tax plan would actually do that.

It’s the ultimate hypocrisy for Republicans to scream for years how any spending that adds to the deficit is irresponsible and then rally support for an indefensible tax plan. It’s even crazier that Republicans are laying the groundwork to revive the “deficit is bad” argument for future issues before they’ve even finalized their tax fraud.

To borrow a word from Mr. Ryan, it’s “entitlement” for the nation’s billionaires to think they deserve to keep billions more. If we’re going to explode the nation’s deficit, I’d much rather know that that money is going toward providing health care to sick people and food to our hungry. Those expenses seem more like necessities than the requests of entitled people.

In the event that you’re hoping Ryan is alone in his crusade to crush health care and welfare programs, ThinkProgress points to fellow Republicans who are also talking openly about the next steps. Senator Marco Rubio confessed to the media that passing the tax legislation and subsequently reducing programs like Medicare have always been part of a two-stepped plan, while Representative Clay Higgins said, “If we pass tax reform, we have to have welfare reform.”

Republicans may be resolute on dumping spending on social programs, but they’re practically daring Americans to vote them out of office in doing so. President Donald Trump campaigned on the promise that he wouldn’t touch Medicare and Medicaid and for good reason – those programs are wildly popular.

The support goes beyond party, with a recent Pew Poll showing that 94 percent of registered Democrats and 85 percent of registered Republicans say they’d like to see the budget for Medicare to either stay the same or increase. As for offering financial assistance to America’s poorest citizens, 93 percent of Democrats and even 61 percent of Republicans want to see welfare spending continued if not increased.

The Republican Party must really take for granted that their voters either aren’t smart enough or don’t care enough to follow what’s going on. To anyone who is paying attention, it couldn’t be clearer that the GOP doesn’t actually care about the deficit – or the well-being average American families, for that matter.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

69 comments

Karen H
Karen Habout a month ago

Funny how the GOP talks "pro-life", but their actions are anything but.

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Pat P
Pat Pabout a month ago

The GOP gives their ridiculously wealthy billionaire donors a huge amount of additional money and decide that rich corporations (with record-breaking profits, paying little in taxes) need more permanent tax relief! They then decide that the one and one-half trillion INCREASED deficit created by this horrific tax bill (in addition to environmental damage, etc.) needs to be covered by low income citizens. They raise taxes on the poorest of our citizens, then to go after the poor some more, cutting necessary food/safety net programs, Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare (targeting poor ill seniors). Of course, Trump campaigned-promised not to touch the two health programs or SS that helps keep some citizens from homelessness, barely in some cases. Ryan decides to make the lives of our most vulnerable miserable, even killing a good many that need programs that they have paid for during their working years!

The GOP are rich and have good health care paid for by tax payers--they are, also, selfish, sadistic sociopaths. Exploding the deficit by making the extremely rich, richer--paying for it by harming the poor?! That is just sick, crazy and cruel! Ryan is leading the pack.

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S M
S Mabout a month ago

God forbid they should worry about the people that their politics has impoverished, traumatised, disenfranchised, ....
USA will always have a deficit as they always at war, themselves or paying a proxy, so this just an excuse to ignore the foreign/military policy affected populace.

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Elaine D
Elaine Dabout a month ago

Thank you

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Virgene L
Virgene Labout a month ago

If they are worried about the deficit, why aren't they reducing it? How are tax cuts for the rich reducing the deficit? The Pentagon and military/industrial complex could take some cuts. So could the wages and benefits of our Congress people. What greedy, ah yes, scum bags.

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Winn A
Winn Aabout a month ago

:-(

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Winn A
Winn Aabout a month ago

Scum bags.

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Lisa M
Lisa Mabout a month ago

Noted.

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Lisa M
Lisa Mabout a month ago

Noted.

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Brian F
Brian Fabout a month ago

Freya H I agree, but when the Democrats kick all the honest progressives out of the party, and their unity commision is composed of mostly Hillary supporters, I worry that they are doubling down on the same mistakes that cost them to lose to this fraud Trump in 2020. The Democrats also need to end their unfair super delegate rule, and allow Bernie Sanders to lead the party. I fear that the Democrats will pick another establishment shill, like Hillary, and lose to this crook, Trump again in 2020.

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