According to a new report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the federal deficit is now 132 percent of the level it was at this time last year. The fiscal year, of course, starts in October for some weird reason, but in the 11 months since fiscal year 2018 began, the deficit rose by $222 billion, up to a staggering $895 billion dollars.
It’s important to remember that the deficit is different than the national debt. The deficit is the difference between what the government spends and what it takes in — spending versus revenue. The debt is what’s racked up after years borrowing money to cover for years of running deficits.
So what on earth could have reduced revenue so much that the annual deficit is a third higher than it was last year?
It’s easy: Revenue comes from taxes. Two months into the fiscal year, Republicans decided that really rich people needed to pay far less in taxes. But the GOP didn’t want to look like bad guys and raise taxes on everyone else to make up for the lost revenue, so, uh… It just stayed lost.
At the same time, spending increased in the federal government, with plans to spend even more, a previously unthinkable design for Republicans. Imagine if the wall were actually being built, or Congress were already appropriating money for the Space Force, or, God forbid, Donald Trump had been able to hold his military parade this year. America would be looking at perhaps a trillion dollar deficit this fiscal year.
We knew the GOP tax scam was going to be bad, but we didn’t really have a measure for what it would do to the deficit until now. The problem is, tax cuts for regular folks have a “sunset” on them, meaning they expire before too long, because Republicans know they can’t keep up their spending without raising taxes on someone.
The deficit will continue to increase because average Americans just don’t make enough money to be taxed at a high enough rate to pay the bills in this country without the rich paying their fair share. Unfortunately, the GOP sees it differently. They’re still disciples of the school of trickle-down economics, despite its 30+ year failure record.
Once that deficit gets too high, there’s no chance they’re going to raise taxes on the wealthy again. That means they just may follow through with their plans to raid Medicare and Social Security.
But then, that’s kind of been their plan all along.
Featured image via screen capture