Chuck Schumer SCARES Democrats As Debt Ceiling Battle Nears
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer held his first press conference of the new session.
Here’s what he had to say…
First, we want to continue our successes in the last Congress and continue delivering for the American people. This was the most successful two years in decades. Many people compare it to the Great Society favorably or equally, some even to the New Deal, because of what we did on climate. So we want to continue doing that. And we want to continue working in a bipartisan way wherever we can.
If passing massive spending bills legislators don’t even have time to read constitutes “success” then I prefer failure.
Since taking office, Biden has spent $3.37 trillion or about $10,500 per American. I’d venture to guess that outside of the $1,400 COVID check, you’ve not only not benefited from this “success,” but you’re worse off for it in terms of inflation and the further consolidation of the means of production into fewer and fewer hands.
But unfortunately right now House Republicans seem to have different ideas. On the very first day of votes they made their first order of business to make it easier for the ultra rich tax cheats to escape accountability. At the same time blowing a hundred billion dollar hole in the deficit. They say they care about the deficit, but they seem to care more about making sure that very wealthy people who use lawyers and accountants to go through all kinds of loopholes can pay a lower percentage than the average American. That seems to be what they care about. Because they actually created a hole in the deficit by preventing us from collecting money from those people and that’s what CBO said not us.
The IRS has 94,000 employees with a $14 billion dollar annual budget. Last year, Democrats voted to give the IRS an additional $80 billion to be spent over the next 10 years.
But here’s the thing: if $14 billion a year isn’t enough for tax collection then perhaps the problem isn’t staffing, but the complexity of the tax code?
Historically, Republicans have sought to lower and simplify the tax code such as with the Trump tax cuts whereas Democrats have sought to raise rates while carving out special exemptions for their supporters. Just consider how during the Trump tax cut debate Republicans wanted to cap the SALT deduction, but Schumer and the Democrats wanted to repeal the cap so wealthy liberals wouldn’t have to pay more. And ultimately the main reason some of the ultra-rich pay a lower percentage than the average American isn’t due to cheating, but because they hire the best lawyers and accountants to legally go around it. Increasing the number of IRS agents will simply mean that the IRS can investigate more small business owners… who just so happen to disproportionally vote Republican.
The Treasury Secretary has directed the $80 billion not go toward increasing “audit rates relative to historical levels for small businesses or households with incomes below $400,000,” but he won’t be Treasury Secretary for the next 10 years and according to the Small Business Administration, a small business can make as much as $40 million.
And speaking of the deficit we’re now witnessing the House GOP recklessly flirt with default. It’s clear default would be a catastrophe for American working families. It’s not an abstract issue. It’s going to affect every American family severely and adversely. And playing brinksmanship, and taking hostages, is being risky and not caring about average people. If the MAGA GOP stops paying our nation’s bills Americans pay the price. Political brinksmanship would be a massive hit to local economies, American families, and nothing less than an economic crisis. Here’s what would happen, for instance, interest rates would go way up. If you have a home loan the average person could pay tens of thousands of dollars more on their mortgage if they have a variable rate mortgage. It would hurt Social Security dramatically and hurt Medicare. Home values will go down because when mortgage interest rates go up, home values go down.
Democrats are fearmongering over a default and Social Security. This year the federal government will take in more than $5 trillion dollars in tax revenue so this is more than enough to cover the most essential/popular spending items.
And now we hear from House Republicans that their leadership has agreed to give GOP radicals a vote on a 30% national sales tax across the board. 30% sales tax on everything! Meaning right now as inflation finally begins to drop Republicans are looking to make American families pay 30% more for every single thing they buy. The Republican National Sales Tax is a disaster for American families. And you don’t need to take it from me, Grover Norquist said the proposal is an assault on your retirement savings, and he’s hardly an ally of ours. Steve Forbes said it would raise house prices by a hundred thousand dollars and raise American bills by thousands. There’s nothing fair about this Republican sales tax. So if Republicans want to push this terrible proposal they’re welcome to make our day.
I agree with Chuck that a national sales tax is a bad idea, but he and other Democrats are spreading misinformation about it because they know this isn’t the “Republican Sales Tax,” but simply a bill that some Republicans support. For example, Speaker McCarthy doesn’t even support it, but nonetheless, unlike Dictator Pelosi he’s allowing his members to bring forth legislation that he himself doesn’t necessarily agree with. If so-called Democratic politicians and their media had a shred of integrity they’d welcome making the House operate more democratically. He also mischaracterizes the Fair Tax because he doesn’t mention how it would abolish the personal income tax and effectively give everyone a UBI, which as I explained in a previous essay is part of the reason I oppose it.
Similarly, if Republicans want to play brinksmanship with the deficit and demanding cuts they need to show us exactly what they want to cut! They have said they’re going to put all these bills on the floor with regular order and have votes. Well, let’s see what cuts they actually want to make. And let’s see if they can pass any of them. I doubt it. I doubt it. So to my GOP colleagues if you want to talk about all this stuff then you have an obligation to show the American people precisely what kind of cuts you want to make. Do you want to cut Social Security? Do you want to cut pay raises for our troops? Do you want to cut Medicare? Do you want to cut police? Do you want to cut help for veterans? Republicans owe the American people answers. Senate Democrats are ready and united to roll up our sleeves and deliver for the American people.
If Chuck wanted to deliver for the American people then rather than goading Republicans into offering specific cuts so that he could then mischaracterize them in front of the cameras, he’d lead by example by offering specific cuts of his own.
Of course, doing so would open himself up to the same kind of attacks he loves to employ, which is why politicians tend to offer more general cuts like say a 1% cut to discretionary spending because when it’s broad and abstract it's harder for the opposition to demonize it.
In the end, in order for Republicans to agree to raise the debt ceiling Democrats must agree to some spending cuts and hypocritically the only spending cuts Schumer and Democrats will agree to… as was the case with the 2011 debt-ceiling crisis… are ones that are broad and abstract, which proves the bad faith nature Schumer is already going into the new Congress with.