Republicans gain control of the House, polls show they plan to eliminate Social Security and Medicare by cutting taxes. It will not benefit the voters or reduce inflation.
According to opinion polls, voters know that democracy is at risk, but they are more concerned about the economy. But is electing Republican lawmakers the answer to both problems? If anything, a look at the GOP positions strongly suggests that their proposals are likely to make things worse.
If Republicans gain control of the House, as polls show, they plan to eliminate Social Security and Medicare by cutting taxes. This is not a vote-friendly or inflation-reducing plan. When Britain’s short-lived Prime Minister Liz Truss announced a similar economic plan, the English market collapsed. Truss was fired after days, which London tabloids said was shorter than the shelf life of heads of lettuce.
By Ronald Reagan through George W. Bush to Donald Trump, the GOP has long promoted similar economic policies. Many middle-class and working-class voters have been lured into supporting failed policies that run counter to their own economic interests.
As Election Day approaches, beware voters: Republicans are not your financial friend. If Republicans regain control of Congress, they plan to make the 2017 tax cuts permanent, roll back the corporate tax that President Joe Biden signed in August and defund the Internal Revenue Service. In March, the Tax Policy Center explained how tax cuts make inflation worse: “Putting money in your pocket increases the demand for goods during a supply shortage. This will raise prices and worsen the inflation that CEO’s say they are so worried about. And that increases pressure on the US Federal Reserve to raise interest rates even more than it planned.
Michael Strain, an economist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, was more blunt: “It is unlikely that the policies proposed by Republicans will significantly reduce inflation in 2023, when rapidly rising prices remain a major problem for the economy and consumers.”
The centerpiece of the Republican plan is cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Sen. Rick Scott (R., Fla.), chairman of the National Republican Senate Committee, released an 11-point plan to “save America” that calls for ending all federal programs every five years, including Social Security and Medicare. The Republican Education Committee released a plan in June calling for raising the age for Social Security benefits from 67 to 70.
If Republicans regain control of 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 can deliberately weaken the economy.
“Republicans have created a narrative blaming Biden for inflation and rising gas prices. (Don’t forget, oil companies are making record profits.)”
Inquirer Editorial Board Republicans have created a narrative blaming Biden for inflation and rising gas prices.
Inexplicably, the national debt has increased by $7.8 trillion under Trump. It was the third-largest increase in the national debt relative to the size of the economy of any president after George W. Bush and Abraham Lincoln. The Grand Old Party is not as fiscally wise as its members would have you believe.
During Trump’s one term, the government legally increased spending to compensate for the economic collapse caused by the pandemic. But Trump’s massive 2017 tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations, combined with wasteful spending, helped increase the deficit by 50 percent.
Under Biden, the budget deficit was cut in half in fiscal year 2022, largely due to reductions in COVID relief spending. Meanwhile, the anti-inflation law that Biden signed in August is expected to reduce drug costs for seniors while fighting climate change. Biden’s infrastructure bill is designed to build the economy of the middle instead of draining the rich.
Although the economic benefits are not immediate, gas prices are falling and wages are rising at the fastest rate in decades. Economist Alan Blinder explained in a Wall Street Journal column that Biden is not to blame for inflation.
Inflation arose after the pandemic collapsed the global economy. As the economy recovers, increased consumer demand, supply chain problems and labor shortages have combined to drive up inflation, while the war in Ukraine has pushed up oil prices.
It’s easy to blame Biden on the economy, but voters should know that the Republican plan is far from a solution.