Senate Republicans Silent as Their Tax Giveaway Sends Federal Deficit Surging

GOP tax law has helped spike the federal deficit to its highest level since the “aftermath of the financial crisis

Scathing Portland Press-Herald editorial calls out Senator Susan Collins: “no one should ever again be allowed to make the specious claim that giving money away to people at the top will make life better for the middle class”

The Treasury Department reported this week that the federal deficit has already surpassed its total from last year, which was the largest since 2012 in the aftermath of the Great Recession. One reason for the surge? The massive GOP tax giveaway to billionaires and corporate special interests. This is just the latest consequence of Republicans’ reckless tax law, yet the vulnerable incumbents who helped ram it through the Senate are silent on the rising national debt. But even as the scathing reviews continue to roll in, some Republican senators are already doubling down on their unpopular and irresponsible agenda and pushing a new “unilateral tax cut for the rich.”


Bloomberg: U.S. Budget Deficit Already Exceeds Last Year’s Total Figure

  • The U.S. fiscal deficit has already exceeded the full-year figure for last year, as spending growth outpaces revenue.
  • The gap grew to $866.8 billion in the first 10 months of the fiscal year, up 27% from the same period a year earlier, the Treasury Department said in its monthly budget report on Monday. That’s wider than last fiscal year’s shortfall of $779 billion — which was the largest federal deficit since 2012.
  • Republican tax cuts, increased federal spending and an aging population have contributed to the fiscal strains…
  • The annual budget deficit is expected to exceed $1 trillion starting in 2022, the Congressional Budget Office has said.

CNN: US budget deficit rises 27% through July

  • The US budget deficit widened to $867 billion for the first 10 months of the fiscal year, an increase of 27% over this time last year, the Treasury Department reported Monday.
  • The current shortfall exceeds the full-year deficit for fiscal 2018, which was $779 billion.
  • The White House’s Office of Management and Budget has predicted that the deficit will exceed $1 trillion for the entire fiscal year, which ends on September 30.
  • There are a number of factors driving the US deficit increase, including the $1.5 trillion tax cuts signed into law by Trump in 2017 along with a massive spending package passed by Congress.
  • The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates that the 2017 tax cuts combined with new spending by Congress will add more than $4.1 trillion to the federal debt by 2029.

Portland Press-Herald (Editorial): Our View: Deficit would be zero if not for tax cuts

  • Discretionary spending, which includes the budgets for the departments of Defense, Justice, State, Veterans Affairs and Education, among others, is near historic lows as a share of GDP.
  • What’s running up the debt is not out-of-balance spending but revenue collections that don’t keep up with inflation. And for that we can thank the Republican tax reform package that was pushed through on a partisan basis in 2017. Predictions that cutting taxes on corporations, wealthy families and individuals would spur enough economic growth to increase tax collections – an argument made by Maine Sen. Susan Collins and others – turned out to be wrong.
  • Digging further, King concludes that there would have been zero deficit in next year’s budget if not for the tax cuts passed under presidents George W. Bush (in 2001 and 2003) and Donald Trump. 
  • And running the government with insufficient revenue puts pressure on mandatory spending programs like Social Security and Medicare, which make up about two-thirds of federal spending.
  • Those mandatory programs are in danger, not because they are overly generous or because people don’t like them, but because there will soon be nowhere else to cut unless Congress does something that boosts revenue.
  • If nothing else, this budget should put to rest, once and for all, the notion that tax cuts pay for themselves by generating economic activity. They just don’t.
  • …no one should ever again be allowed to make the specious claim that giving money away to people at the top will make life better for the middle class.


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