Gerald Seib says that’s what the Progressive-Democrats in Congress fear the Republicans will use them for.
Democrats worry that Republicans will simply use the rising deficits they are creating as an excuse to cut government spending on domestic programs important to Democrats—in the vernacular, that the tax bill will “starve the beast” of the federal government of the money it needs to keep spending at current levels.
I certainly hope those deficits will be used as the reason for cutting government spending. The Federal government spends way too much of our money, and it does so without regard for whose money it is and without regard for the amount of revenue that taxes bring in—deficit spending is enthusiastically pursued regardless of tax rates or revenues.
Federal spending needs to be cut back drastically, not just on domestic programs important to Progressive-Democrats, but on all domestic programs (other than defense, which already is so low that our military cannot reliably win a war against a regional power like Russia, much less a rapidly expanding one like the People’s Republic of China. We’ve even had to abandon our Cold War mission of being able to fight and win two separate wars simultaneously). A good start would be a 10% across the board cut on all extant programs, and then begin cutting seriously from there.
And yes, that includes privatizing Social Security and Medicare and block granting Medicaid transfer payments to the States without strings—they know better than the Feds how to spend those funds State-domestically, anyway. After conversion, the Feds then should reduce those Year Zero block grants by [10%] per year after that until there are no more Federal Medicaid transfers.
An additional step for Federal spending curtailment is to consolidate all current Federal transfers into a single block grant for each State and then reducing the size of that grant along the schedule above. In this way, States like New York, California, and the rest of the dozen or so States that send more of their citizens’ tax money to the Federal government than they get back could keep all of their citizens’ money and spend it within their State in accordance with those citizens’ imperatives. Surely even Progressive-Democrats could get behind a program that lets their constituents keep their money local—that’s more for the local Progressive-Democrats to spend.
Net recipient States would be able to keep all of their citizens’ tax money, also, reducing the alleged “need” for Federal transfers.
Additional cost saving: the middle-man bureaucracies, with their inherent costs, would be eliminated, too.
The only deviation from eliminating such knee-jerk routine transfers should be in times of declared State or regional emergency.