Tax cuts and deregulation have fired up the economy, but we’re still spending ourselves into disaster

· September 14, 2018  
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Burning Money
Tatiana Popova | Shutterstock

On Thursday, two things happened in the House of Representative that should bother anyone concerned about our gigantic national debt.

Before closing up shop on Thursday, the House Ways and Means Committee cleared “Tax Reform 2.0,” that would – in addition to making more reforms for startups and small businesses – make last year’s round of tax cuts permanent, instead of expiring in eight years under Senate budget rules.

Elsewhere, the House as a whole voted to pass the first of multiple “minibus” spending packages with very little friction. This one approved roughly $147 billion for energy and water spending, military construction, Veterans Affairs, and the legislative branch.

And while some are touting this as a bipartisan victory aimed at fixing Congress’ grossly dysfunctional appropriations process, there’s still the matter of how much is being spent and on what, which hasn’t changed much at all.

Now, to spare you all the line-item nerdiness, just know that fiscal hawks were none too happy about this one.

And while there may be equal frustration with the next few minibus bills, the outlook for a true reckoning on how much our federal government spends gets bleaker the closer Congress gets to that all-important government “shutdown” deadline at the end of September.

Yes, again.

So yeah: On the same day that the GOP cheers an encore of its sole legislative achievement from the past session (tax cuts), the House passes the first of multiple big-spending packages with no meaningful cuts to be found and no appetite for a spending fight this close to an election.

Meanwhile, the budget deficit so far for this fiscal year is just a little over $898 billion.
We’re right on the cusp of hitting trillion-dollar annual deficits, and this is when the party that nominally runs on spending cuts is in charge.

Elsewhere in the economy, the massive deregulation by the Trump administration has allowed for some very impressive economic milestones. But at some point in that equation, you have to cut spending, or that booming economy will eventually just end up crushed under the weight of this country’s own debts.

It’s like watching a football game where most spectators are so engrossed in how the red and blue teams are doing on the field that nobody is paying attention to the fact that the stands are coming apart under their feet. And without some break in the action to take care of some basic maintenance, the whole thing will eventually collapse.


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Author: Nate Madden

Nate Madden is CRTV’s congressional correspondent. Follow him @NateMaddenCRTV or send tips to [email protected].