I always caution people not to put any faith in polls taken a year before an election, but the media are so addicted to horse races, they never learn. Meanwhile, the much-ballyhooed “blue wave” continues to ebb. The latest sign is a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showing that the GOP now has a 7-point lead over Democrats on which party has the better policies for handling the economy and a 4-point lead on which has the better tax policy (hard to believe anyone thinks “If it moves, tax it” is a better policy than anything.) A slim majority still think the tax cut bill was a negative. That’s partly because some think it’s a “giveaway to the rich” (which proves that wall-to-wall propaganda is hard to overcome, although reality is slowly eroding its effects) and partly because they’re concerned about it increasing the deficit.
Believe me, I share your concerns about the deficit, but the tax cut isn’t the problem that’s driving deficits. According to Congressional Budget Office projections reported by Investors.com, by 2027, under the new tax bill, the government will be taking a 17.9% share of the economy in taxes. When Bill Clinton took office in 1991, it was taking 17.3%. In fact, under the new tax bill, the feds will actually be taking a bigger bite than the average over the past 50 years. The deficit is projected to grow not because we aren’t being taxed enough but because Congress spends money so fast, they make drunken sailors look like Ebenezer Scrooge.
Want more numbers to crunch on? The CBO estimates that over the next 10 years, the feds will take in about $40 trillion in revenue. Still, the debt will continue to grow, but only $1 trillion of that borrowing will be due to the tax cut – and the revenue estimate is based on the assumption that GDP growth will average just 1.9%, which it’s already outpacing now that Obama’s policies are being obliterated.
Again, it’s not that Washington isn’t taking enough money, it’s that Washington is spending too much money. They're like the people who win the lottery and still end up broke five years later.
I know it’s easy to feel fed up when you see an atrocity like the recent Omnibus spending bill being passed under GOP Congressional leadership. But their excuse was that if they cut spending, they wouldn’t be able to get it past Democrats in the Senate, where they needed a 60-vote threshold. I expect the "blue wave" to continue to recede because voters still have about seven months to think about whether adding even more Democrats – or, Heaven forbid, handing the leadership of Congress to Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, who suddenly became horrified at the thought of deficits the second Trump was sworn into office -- is going to result in less federal spending. I doubt that enough voters will ultimately decide it will, no matter how many states have legalized marijuana.