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Monday, November 12, 2018

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

 

Less than a year after Republicans passed their scam to give massive tax breaks to the ultra-wealthy — adding more than $1 trillion to the deficit — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is now pushing for cuts to Medicare and Social Security to make up the difference.

Republicans, who rammed their bill through the Senate without a single Democratic vote, were warned last year that their tax bill would explode the deficit, but they didn’t care, even though they routinely claimed concern about it when Barack Obama was president.

“I have little question that as long as this president is in the Oval Office, a real solution is probably unattainable,” McConnell said in 2011.

Now he’s telling a different story.

“It’s disappointing, but it’s not a Republican problem,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg. Instead, he says, it’s a “bipartisan problem,” and the solution is for Democrats to help him gut America’s safety net.

It would be “very difficult to do entitlement reform, and we’re talking about Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid,” McConnell said. Rather than admit what a disaster his party’s tax scam has been, he claims the programs that millions of Americans rely on is “the real driver of the debt.”

In a statement responding to McConnell, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said, “Under the GOP’s twisted agenda, we can afford tax cuts for billionaires, but not the benefits our seniors have earned.”

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer also slammed McConnell’s proposal.

“To now suggest cutting earned middle-class programs like Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid as the only fiscally responsible solution to solve the debt problem is nothing short of gaslighting,” he said.

Republican leaders, most notably outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), have for years pushed for cuts on the safety net while also aggressively pushing tax breaks for the wealthy.

During the passage of the tax scam, Republicans admitted that they were pushing the tax breaks as a payback to the donors who help elect them to office.

Once touted as the vehicle through which Republicans would retain control over Congress, the tax scam has turned out to be an election-year dud. Republicans have all but abandoned talking about it, instead running on a platform of racism, paranoia, and conspiracy theories to keep their seats.

Now, in order to address the ballooning deficit Republicans have made worse, their leader in the Senate has set his sights on critical programs, so those American who already struggle will fall even further through the cracks.

Published with permission of The American Independent.