The Republican Plan On Taxes Is to Declare That the Deficit Is Whatever They Say It Is

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Republicans are getting ready to pass a humongous $1.5 trillion tax cut. But Senate rules require tax bills to either pass with 60 votes or else be deficit neutral. Obviously Republicans aren’t going to get any Democratic votes for cutting taxes on the rich, so that means they need to avoid increasing the deficit. But if you cut $1.5 trillion in revenue, how is that possible? Easy peasy:

There is a growing willingness within the GOP to embrace controversial, optimistic estimates of how much economic growth their tax plan would create. Those upbeat estimates, often rejected by nonpartisan economists, would supplant the traditional forecasts offered by official scorekeepers at the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation, helping lawmakers argue that the plan would not increase the national debt.

Why bother? Even the most optimistic supply-sider couldn’t come up with a way of making a $1.5 trillion tax cut literally 100 percent self-funding. The only way to get there is to simply plug the numbers you need into a spreadsheet and declare, “That’s it. That’s our estimate.” If they’re going down this road, that’s what they might as well do.

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Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

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It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

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