by Countable | 10.17.18
What’s the story?
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on Tuesday that the only way Congress could lower the federal deficit would be to cut entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
- McConnell made no mention of the $1.5 trillion tax plan he instituted or his recent signing off on a $675 billion budget for the Department of Defense. (The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected that the GOP tax cuts would add $1.9 trillion to the national debt over the next decade.)
- "It's very disturbing, and it's driven by the three big entitlement programs that are very popular: Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. That's 70 percent of what we spend every year," McConnell told Bloomberg News when asked about the rising deficits and debt.
"There's been a bipartisan reluctance to tackle entitlement changes because of the popularity of those programs. Hopefully at some point here we'll get serious about this. We haven't been yet."
- McConnell’s remarks came a day after the Treasury Department said the U.S. budget deficit grew to $779 billion during President Donald Trump’s first full fiscal year as president. That’s an increase of 77 percent from the $439 billion deficit in fiscal 2015, when McConnell became majority leader.
What are Democrats saying?
- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California reacted to McConnell’s comments by saying the rising deficit is a direct result of the GOP tax cut enacted in December 2017.
- “In budget after budget, congressional Republicans have exposed their cynical agenda: give massive, unpaid-for handouts to further enrich big corporations shipping jobs overseas and the wealthiest 1 percent, and stick seniors, children and families with the bill,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“Under the GOP’s twisted agenda, we can afford tax cuts for billionaires, but not the benefits our seniors have earned.”
- McConnell’s democratic counterpart tweeted:
What do you think?
Would you like to see Congress tackle entitlement reform? Do you support cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid? Or should the GOP revisit their tax cuts? Take action above, then share your thoughts below.