|Noem, Rounds, Thune|
Deficits? What Are Those?
A more unnerving embrace of surrealism is the casual manner in which deficit hawks have waved off the specter of increasing federal debt built into this bill. South Dakota Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds have both called existing deficits "unsustainable," but enthusiastically embrace this bill just the same. Congress' Joint Committee On Taxation says that the $1.4 trillion in revenues lost by the tax cuts will only be partially offset by $458 billion in revenues gained by its boost to the economy. That leaves a $1 trillion dollar hole in the federal balance sheet in 10 years. Thune, Rounds and their equally indifferent counterpart in the House of Representatives, SD Congresswoman Kristi Noem, have built their careers on complaints about federal deficits, yet here they are, cheering on the addition of another trillion bucks to our federal ocean of red ink. Their collective admiration for the notion that tax cuts will stimulate enough economic growth to pay for the deficit has been pooh-poohed by history so many times that you wonder if our elected reps go catatonic when confronted by this type of analysis. Moody's Analytics says the economic stimulus argument is baloney, as does the track record of tax-cutting itself. Reagan, George W. Bush, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback--all have tried this gambit and failed. Sharp increases in debt followed their much-ballyhooed tax cuts.
Adding to this Salvador Dali-esque dreamscape is the sudden appearance of the flaws in Congresswoman Noem's tale of tax-devastation to her family in 1994 when her father died. An examination of it last week in USA Today headlines that Noem's "family saga doesn't add up." The piece concludes that the story "does not line up with some very basic tenets of the tax code." The bit about not "adding up" seems appropo. Not much in this tax bill adds up.