After the US Senate’s GOP majority successfully rammed through a filibuster-proof budget plan paving the way for a $1.5 trillion tax cut that hits all the right notes for all the right constituencies, there’s no one to better express the party's thought process on such a potentially ruinous piece of legislation than one of its own.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham owned the party’s pitched offensive on this bedrock Republican issue, saying after the vote: “This is the last, best chance we will have to cut taxes … if you’re a Republican and you don’t want to simplify the tax code and cut taxes, what good are you to anybody?”
The reverse is true as well, of course. If you do cut taxes to the ruinous degree proposed, you won’t be good to – or for – plenty of people. Not for a large swath of the middle class, for whom the proposed plan will actually result in raised taxes due to the repeal of deductions for state and local taxes. Not for Americans reliant on Medicare and Medicaid – the two programs are slated to have a combined $1.47 trillion shaved off their budgets to help offset the enormous revenue hole dug by the tax cuts over the next 10 years. Not for fans of bipartisanship – if the GOP can keep its members united in lockstep, there will be no need to deal with Democrats on any legislation. Not for people who don’t believe in deficit spending – even after kneecapping the health care framework, the deficit could grow by $1.5 trillion over the next decade.
Ultimately, it’s this last point that really says it all about the invidious hypocrisy of the “party of fiscal responsibility.” After spending eight years attacking a Democratic administration for anything that smacked of deficit spending, after holding up everything from the debt ceiling to CHIP to ensure any increased spending was made revenue-neutral through correspondingly sized cuts, this latest and most egregious example of the GOP embrace of Dieu et mon droit shouldn’t come as a surprise. But it would be nice if it did.
Chris Long: Sure, the Philadelphia Eagles defensive end’s announcement that he will donate his entire salary for the season to a special fund to increase educational equality might be a little off-topic in this space – but only a little. And it’s just such an inspiring thing to do.
Philadelphia and Pittsburgh: As the deadline passed for qualifying cities to submit their audition tapes for Amazon Idol, Moody’s ranked the city’s third and fifth, respectively, as most likely to win the race to become home to Amazon’s HQ2.
John McCain: It’s always fun to see the return of the maverick, especially when it’s for something as momentous as being presented with the Liberty Medal. McCain didn’t disappoint, using his speech to deliver a blistering attack on “spurious nationalism.”
Tom Marino: Following the Scott Perry model of ignominiously snatching defeat from the jaws of victory to the letter, Marino’s bid to become the nation’s drug czar went up in smoke after it was revealed he was a prime mover behind a bill that protected Big Pharma from the DEA.
John Hanger: Speaking of up in smoke … the former adviser to Gov. Tom Wolf suspended his company’s efforts to sell its marijuana growing license for $20 million after the administration threatened to revoke said license.
Comcast: The Philly-based behemoth was busted with its hand in the conservative cookie jar for bankrolling a VIP hideaway for GOP lawmakers at the 2016 Republican National Convention – to the tune of $200,000. How the corporation that owns Bravo failed to capitalize on the potential of “The Real Politicos of the RNC” is worthy of a fine all on its own.