It may shock you, it shouldn’t but it may, that Republicans are complete hypocrites on the deficit. Anybody paying attention understands that deficits only matter to Republicans when Democrats are in office, or in regards to social spending, then deficits will kill us all like guns (although guns are okay). But when they’re in charge deficits suddenly do not matter, and any spending they deem necessary, like tax cuts for the already wealthy, increases in defense spending or fighting a war in the Middle East are not only okay, but essential.
It’s been this way since Jude Wanniski’s Two Santa Claus memo, as explained by Bruce Bartlett in 2012. Essentially Republicans sneeringly referred to Democrats as being Santa Claus to the public because of programs like Social Security and Medicare. Wanniski asserted that Republicans can be the second Santa Claus on tax cuts and every Republican president since has had a boner for tax cuts except George H.W. Bush who had to deal with the hangover from Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts and said (a la Dana Carvey) “it wouldn’t be prudent.”
But that’s all inside baseball that is not spoken about in public much. In public every Republican hews to the small government, low taxes, can’t spend anything when we have deficits line. Former deficit hawk Congressman, present Trump Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has been one of the hardest core Fagin’s denying a second bowl of gruel to America’s Olivers for a long time. Until this weekend.
As Josh Marshall reports, on Sunday Mick Mulvaney shocked political watchers by saying this:
“I’ve been very candid about this. We need to have new deficits because of that. We need to have the growth. If we simply look at this as being deficit-neutral, you’re never going to get the type of tax reform and tax reductions that you need to get to sustain 3 percent economic growth.”
Just a few months ago Mulvaney was saying that we could not spend more on school lunches or after school programs because they’ve not proven effective and Meals-on-Wheels was not very compassionate to tax payers. No, really he said that. As a Congressman Mulvaney never saw a budget line item he wouldn’t erase.
But for tax cuts to the wealthy, we to have “new deficits.” Not that we’re getting rid of the old ones. No, it’s really the same old deficits, just larger – which was a concern of Trump voters, I could swear. And just remember that when the Democrats take over Congress or the WH, Mulvaney will be the first to scream about deficits in regards to spending on healthcare or meals to poor people.
But he is now extraordinarily on record, in public as saying that in regards to tax cuts for the 1%, we need new and improved deficits and deficit spending fuels growth.
How the earth didn’t swallow him up or lightning strike him is proof there’s no god.