Voters clearly care about the economy, but will the GOP’s plans make things better? | Editorial – The Philadelphia Inquirer | NutSocia

Polls show voters know that democracy is in jeopardy, but they care more about the economy. But is electing Republican lawmakers the answer to both problems? If anything, a look at the GOP’s positions strongly suggests their proposals are likely to make things worse.

If Republicans gain control of the House of Representatives, polls show they plan to hollow out Social Security and Medicare while cutting taxes. This is not a plan that will benefit voters or lower inflation.

When Liz Truss, the short British prime minister, announced a similar economic plan, England’s markets imploded. Truss was ousted after 44 days, a term that London tabloids said was shorter than the shelf life of a head of lettuce.

From Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush to Donald Trump, the GOP has long encouraged similar trickle-down economic policies. Many middle- and working-class voters have been lured into supporting failed policies that run counter to their own economic interests.

With Election Day approaching, voters should beware: Republicans are not your business friends. If Republicans regain control of Congress, they plan to make the 2017 tax cuts permanent, reverse the corporate tax hikes President Joe Biden signed into law in August, and undermine funding for the Internal Revenue Service.

Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, explained in March how tax cuts will make inflation worse: “Putting more money in people’s pockets will increase demand for goods in times of supply crunch. That will push up prices and exacerbate inflation, which governors are said to be so concerned about. And it will increase the pressure on the Federal Reserve to hike rates even more than planned.”

Michael Strain, an economist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, was more direct: “It is unlikely that any of the measures proposed by Republicans would significantly reduce inflation in 2023, when rapidly rising prices are still a major problem for the economy and the US.” will be consumers.”

At the heart of the Republican plan is cutting Social Security and Medicare. Sen. Rick Scott (R., Fla.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, unveiled an 11-point plan to “Save America” ​​that would call for the shutdown of all federal programs every five years, including Social Security and Medicare. In June, the Republican Study Committee released a plan calling for raising the eligibility age for full Social Security benefits from 67 to 70.

When Republicans return to power in 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 could intentionally worsen the economy.

Republicans have spun a narrative blaming Biden for inflation and soaring gas prices. (No matter that oil companies are making record profits.)

Republicans have spun a narrative blaming Biden for inflation and soaring gas prices. (No matter that oil companies are making record profits.)

What remains unsaid is that the national debt has increased by $7.8 trillion under Trump. That was the third largest increase in national debt relative to the size of a president’s economy, behind George W. Bush and Abraham Lincoln. The Grand Old Party isn’t as financially savvy as its members would like you to believe.

Of course, during Trump’s one term in office, the administration has rightly increased spending to offset the economic collapse caused by the pandemic. But Trump’s massive tax cuts for wealthy individuals and businesses in 2017, combined with lavish spending, helped increase the deficit by 50%.

Under Biden, the deficit was halved in fiscal 2022, thanks largely to cuts in COVID relief spending. Meanwhile, Biden’s inflation-cutting bill, signed into law in August, is expected to lower drug prices for seniors while tackling climate change. Biden’s infrastructure bill is designed to build the economy from the middle, rather than trickling down from the rich.

While these economic benefits won’t come overnight, gas prices are falling and wages are rising at the fastest rates in decades. In a column in the Wall Street Journal, Economist Alan Blinder explained that Biden is not to blame for inflation.

Inflation emerged after the pandemic collapsed the global economy. As the economy recovered, increased consumer demand, supply chain problems and labor shortages combined to fuel inflation, while the war in Ukraine helped push up oil prices.

It’s easy to blame Biden for the economy, but voters should know that the Republican plan is far from the answer.

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