The United States budget deficit just hit its highest peak in six years under the Trump administration, and according to Bloomberg analysis, it’s due to tax cuts and increased spending.
The deficit now sits at $779 billion, which is bad news for the country’s $21.5 trillion debt.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the deficit problem is not because of the party that has controlled Congress and the White House for the past two years.
“It’s disappointing, but it’s not a Republican problem,” McConnell told Bloomberg on Tuesday. “It’s a bipartisan problem: unwillingness to address the real drivers of the debt by doing anything to adjust those programs to the demographics of America in the future.”
McConnell blames Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security for the rising deficit, even though the tax cut that passed in 2017 is estimated to add $1 trillion to the national debt.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called out the Republican-backed tax cut today in a video released to his Twitter, which shows multiple clips of McConnell insisting the bill is “revenue neutral” and wouldn’t add to the deficit.
manipulate (someone) into questioning their own sanity
Ex: It's gaslighting for the GOP to blow a $2 trillion hole in the deficit to give the rich a tax cut then suggest cutting Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid as the only fix for that new deficit. pic.twitter.com/0h1XxTRxSS
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) October 16, 2018
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) highlighted McConnell’s focus on blaming entitlements instead of other policies.
“Mitch McConnell wants to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to pay for Republicans’ massive giveaway to the rich and large corporations,” the Vermont senator tweeted Tuesday. “Enough! The American people must stand up and make clear to McConnell that we will expand, not cut, programs working people rely on.”
President Donald Trump has yet to address the latest deficit numbers, but he criticized deficits under the Obama administration, even suggesting in 2012 that lawmakers should be barred from re-election if they couldn’t balance the nation’s budget.
No member of Congress should be eligible for re-election if our country's budget is not balanced—deficits not allowed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2012
Now, the Senate Majority Leader believes the solution is in cutting some of the nation’s most popular programs.
Democrats aren’t buying it. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement, “Under the GOP’s twisted agenda, we can afford tax cuts for billionaires, but not the benefits our seniors have earned.”