Polls show voters know that democracy is in danger, but they care more about the economy. But is electing Republican lawmakers the answer to both problems? If anything, a look at the GOP’s positions strongly suggests that their proposals are likely to make things worse.
If Republicans gain control of the House, as polls indicate, they plan to undermine Social Security and Medicare while cutting taxes. This is not a plan that will benefit voters or reduce inflation.
When Liz Truss, the short British Prime Minister, announced a similar economic plan, English markets imploded. Truss was forced out of office after 44 days, a tenure that, according to London tabloids, was shorter than the shelf life of a head of lettuce.
From Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush to Donald Trump, the GOP has long promoted a similar trickle-down economic policy. Many middle and working class voters have been misled into supporting failed policies that go against their own economic interests.
With Election Day approaching, voters beware: Republicans are not your economic friend. If Republicans regain control of Congress, they plan to make the 2017 tax cuts permanent, repeal the corporate tax hikes President Joe Biden signed in August, and erode funding for the Internal Revenue Service.
Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, explained in March: how lowering taxes will exacerbate inflation: “Putting more money in people’s pockets will increase demand for goods at a time of supply shortages. That will drive prices up and exacerbate the inflation that governors claim to be so concerned. And it will increase the pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates even further than planned.”
Michael Strain, an economist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, was more direct: “It is unlikely that any of the policies proposed by Republicans would meaningfully reduce inflation in 2023, when rapidly rising prices will still be a major problem.” for the economy and for consumers.”
The centerpiece of the Republican plan is to cut Social Security and health care. sen. Rick Scott (R., Fla.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has rolled out an 11-point plan to “save America” that calls for all federal programs to be halted every five years, including Social Security and Medicare. In June, the Republican Study Commission released a plan calling for the age of eligibility for full Social Security benefits to be raised from 67 to 70.
When Republicans return to power in Congress, they plan to use the looming debt ceiling to shut down the government and force cuts to Social Security and Medicare. This is a reckless plan that could intentionally worsen the economy.
Republicans have run a story blaming Biden for inflation and rising gas prices. (Let oil companies make record profits.)”
Republicans have run a story blaming Biden for inflation and rising gas prices. (It doesn’t matter that oil companies are making record profits.)
What is not being said is that under Trump, the national debt has increased by $7.8 trillion. That was the third largest increase in government debt relative to the size of a president’s economy after George W. Bush and Abraham Lincoln. The Grand Old Party is not as fiscally smart as its members would have you believe.
To be sure, during Trump’s only term, the administration has rightly increased spending to offset the economic collapse caused by the pandemic. But Trump’s massive tax cuts in 2017 for wealthy individuals and corporations, combined with wasteful spending everywhere, helped widen the deficit by 50%.
Under Biden, the deficit was halved in fiscal 2022, thanks in large part to cuts in spending on COVID relief. Meanwhile, Biden’s inflation-reduction bill, signed into law in August, is expected to lower drug prices for seniors while also combating climate change. Biden’s infrastructure bill aims to build the economy from the middle, rather than trickle down to the rich.
While those economic benefits won’t come overnight, gas prices are falling and wages are rising at the fastest pace in decades. In a column in the Wall Street Journal, economist Alan Blinder explained that Biden was not responsible for inflation.
Inflation arose after the pandemic collapsed the global economy. As the economy recovered, increased consumer demand, supply chain problems and labor shortages have combined to increase inflation, while the war in Ukraine has pushed oil prices up.
It’s easy to blame Biden on the economy, but voters need to know that the Republican plan is far from the answer.