It is mind-boggling some people believe allowing us to keep more of our own money, instead of sending it to Washington, is a bad idea. Yet some, presumably those who believe politicians are the best people to decide how our hard-earned cash is spent, say the 2017 federal tax cuts were a bad idea.
They were not. Beyond any reasonable doubt, they did more to help lift the nation out of recession than did all the “stimulus” spending employed during former President Barack Obama’s administration. Americans have more money in our pockets — and we are creating new jobs by spending it.
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman was asked about that during a recent conference call with reporters. He was asked about tax cut critics who say depriving Uncle Sam of some revenue is bad because it increases the federal spending deficit. Of course it does, to some extent.
But the critics intentionally fail to take into account the fact that not every tax cut dollar adds to the deficit. Some of the revenue foregone generates new economic activity that results in added revenue for Washington.
The national debt, at $22.5 trillion and continuing to explode, is a genuine concern, of course.
But Portman, R-Ohio, put his finger on the real driver of the deficit. “The reason the debt and the deficit are exploding is spending,” he said, according to The Columbus Dispatch. “Seventy percent of the spending is on autopilot, and that’s by far the fastest-growing part of the spending.”
He was referring to so-called “entitlement spending” on programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, of course.
The current $4.4 trillion federal budget includes about $1 trillion for health care programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. And, though the about $1 trillion needed for Social Security is offset by revenue earmarked for that program, the balance is very close. Within just a couple of years, Social Security outlays will top income.
Everyone in Washington knows Portman is correct. The truth has been obvious for many years. Yet no one, including President Donald Trump, has shown any inclination to do anything about entitlement spending.
Portman is right: Tax cuts do help the economy. They benefit each and every taxpaying American — and some who have no income tax liability. The deficit is not a problem because government is not taking enough from us — it is because Washington, unlike our families, has not learned to balance a budget.