Senate Republicans Vote to Cut Spending But Increase Deficit

Under President Barack Obama, we pulled the economy out of recession and got the federal deficit back below the 40-year average as measured by percentage of GDP.

Under Trump Republicans Thune and Rounds, it looks like we’re going to blow the deficit up again:

Senate Republicans passed a budget late Thursday night following a series of votes, setting the stage for the GOP’s ultimate goal of tackling tax reform later this year.

The measure is estimated to add $1.5 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years, and contains about $4 trillion in spending cuts, including nearly $500 billion in cuts from Medicare over 10 years and more than $1 trillion from Medicaid [Mariam Khan, “Senate Republicans Pass Budget That Will Add $1.5 trillion to Deficit, Slash Medicare and Medicaid,” ABC News, 2017.10.20].

Spending cuts are justified if we’re using them to reduce our debt. I’m willing to apply that kitchen-table economics to federal budgeting. But how do we cut Medicare and other vital public services and still end up with a bigger deficit and more debt?

Let’s hope Speaker Paul Ryan and Rep. Kristi Noem can impose some sanity (what am I saying?) and at least demand that budget cuts go toward real deficit reduction, not tax cuts for the wealthy and voodoo economics.

12 Responses to Senate Republicans Vote to Cut Spending But Increase Deficit

  1. I believe that ABC article has “deficit” and “debt” confused; usually we discuss adding to the national debt in terms of decades – so that $1.5 trillion added to the “deficit” should be $1.5 trillion added to the national debt over 10 years.

    If that’s the case, then running at $150 billion shortfalls each year is considerably reduced from the $600 billion deficit Obama ran in 2016.

    But, again, this language isn’t clear; is the $1.5 trillion in deficits on top of the current overspending, or does it replace it?

  2. mike from iowa

    Spending cuts are justified when they cut pork barrel and wasteful defense spending by trillions over the next10 years. Welfare spending for those at the bottom helps the economy while welfzre for the koch bros helps only the koch bros.

  3. MFR — Correct
    Like Dolly Levi said ” Money is like manure; you got to spread it around to do any good. Leave it in a pile, it just stinks>”

  4. mike from iowa

    Wayne B- the 1.5 trillion deficit figure is correct. In order for wingnuts to pass this monstrosity under reconcilliation, their plan could not increase the deficit by more than the 1.5 trillion bucks. They don’t have real numbers yet, but if it is as they at 1.5 trillion, then they can pass Drumpf’s tax giveaway to the rich w/o running it past Dems and Dems won’t be allowed to vote at all on it.

    This is why wingnuts must die
    by popular vote when the election is nigh
    They were given an inch, they took a mile
    about fiscal responsibility they live in denial.

  5. Wayne, Washington Post uses the same language. It appears the budget framework adds $1.5 trillion to the deficit, over what the status quo would cause.

  6. Wayne no matter what the Republicans own the mess- First, the president has no control over the mandatory budget or its deficit. That includes Social Security and Medicare benefits. These are the two biggest expenses any president has. The mandatory budget estimates what these programs will cost. The acts of Congress that created the programs also mandate the spending. Unless the president can get Congress to remove or change them, he’s got to live with that spending.
    Second, the Constitution gave Congress, not the president, the power to control spending. The president’s budget is just a starting point. Each house of Congress prepares a discretionary spending budget. They combine them into the final budget that the president reviews and signs. Look up budget process.

    Third, each president inherits many of his predecessors’ policies. For example, every president suffered from lower revenue. That’s a result of President Reagan’s and President Bush’s tax cuts. Presidents who raise taxes quickly become unpopular. As a result, tax cuts rarely disappear.

  7. Privatizing the Veterans Administration is another way to skim money for their pockets while exploding the deficit. Rounds and Thune talk about protecting veterans needs, but they both have deep pockets to fill with the blood money. NOem is all in on this as well.

  8. Thanks Jerry that was a good read.

  9. Robin, the sellout American Legion is all in on this. Surprise! They should change their names to American Right Wing Legion of Sellouts, what a bunch.

    There are always Judas goats among us that are really the wolves at the door. Smedley Butler still spot on.

  10. Robin, right now, the government owes hospitals, doctors and other health care providers over 10 billion dollars since 2010 for not paying service connected emergency charges for veterans. I am one of the 350,000 veterans who got stiffed for emergency care that was authorized by the VA. If the government cannot pay for simple emergency services for the 350,000 of us in a 7 year period, how in the world can they be expected to pay for our services if the Veterans Administration is privatized? The answer is this, the government has already seen how to make it work by shifting the cost to the veterans. There you go, problem solved. Privatize the Veterans Administration and stick the costs to the veteran to pay.

    Good news is that we can repeal it, bad news is that congress is gonna have to pony up the 10 billion to pay everyone back, by cutting spending. Settling this, is about as likely as trump shutting his pie hole.

  11. Jerry I don’t know much about how the VA works- What is up with the choice cards ? Does that not help cover ? I just read an article from Montana they are trying to charge a whistle blower in Montana

  12. Choice cards are more or less like the cards you get from sandwich shops, you think you are gonna be getting a really good deal and then you go there and find out that it really does not mean what you though it would be. So here is what they say. They also say it “may” work for you, not that it will work for you.

    Veterans, including disabled veterans like myself, were always told that if you needed emergency services you should go to the closest emergency room. They would contact the VA to get the okay for you to either be treated there or sent to the VA. For 350,000 of us, we did just that over the years and now have found that those bills were not paid to the providers. That sum is 10 billion dollars that is owed to veterans for paying the bill and for the hospitals and doctors that sometimes just wrote them off.

    As noted in the link, the VA just got 2.1 billion to operate on, not one penny towards the 10 billion out of pocket that we know of. Congress would have to allocate that money to the VA so the VA could reimburse. Are you getting the picture that the shifting of it all will mean that it will remain the same? I hope so, because that is just what congress is doing, screwing veterans and laying the blame on the VA.

    Now trump wants more war and more veterans. This time with radiation sickness no doubt. Congress has not been able to fully fund the VA ever and now to privatize it would even be more bad news for veterans. If they do not fix their mistakes, why would anyone want to serve and take the chance that something might happen and you would be just left out in the cold?