More Lawlessness—Greatest Theft in History

12/21/2017 02:30 pm ET

The Repubs tax bill has passed, and it is the greatest theft of taxpayer monies in history; even greater than that of Presidents’ Reagan and Bush I and II that began the immense transfer of wealth to the wealthiest in 1980 with their tax cuts starving the government of much needed revenues that would keep the federal deficits under control.

It was written by the very lobbyists Republicans and the Trump administration have cultivated since his election. The stench of the DC swamp that Trump promised to drain has become overwhelming.

More than 130 lobbyists have been hired to work in the administration, and 36 of them have blatant conflicts of interest, working on the same issues they were lobbying on, in violation of Trump’s ethics rules, according to Marketwatch economist Jeff Nutting.

“This is so bad. We have just gotten list of amendments to be included in bill NOT from our R colleagues, but from lobbyists downtown,” said Missouri Dem Senator Claire McCaskill. “None of us have seen this list, but lobbyists have it. Need I say more? Disgusting. And we probably will not even be given time to read them.”

The bill will cut Medicare and Medicaid benefits by $1.5 trillion, and could add up to $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit in 10 years according to the CBO. That’s a $3 trillion outright theft from U.S. taxpayers for the biggest heist in history.

We know what happened when Republicans tried this taxpayer heist before. President Reagan and congress had to raise taxes 11 times to make up the deficits created by the first ‘trickle-down’ tax cuts in 1981. Two consecutive recessions followed as Fed Chairman Paul Volcker had raised interest rates to record levels to choke off inflation at the same time.

Then GW Bush did the same in 2001-03, when he cut taxes again while paying for the wars on terror, resulting in the largest federal deficit in history at the time, and the Great Recession.

This will not generate enough tax revenue to pay for the additional debt, as I noted in an earlier column, so foreign governments and individuals will become more reluctant to invest in U.S. debt, as the deficit continues to grow and interest rates rise, while crowding out other, important investments.

It can happen again. It is suicidal economics. The U.S. won’t declare bankruptcy. But it will saddle future generations with an impossible debt load, and prevent much needed public and private investment that would increase productivity and boost growth.

Harlan Green © 2017

Follow Harlan Green on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HarlanGreen

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