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Deficit Has Fallen To Lowest Level Since 2007, Paul Ryan Calls It A ‘Crazy Game’

We’ve all heard Republicans bemoaning the fact that the federal deficit has grown under President Obama, even though the numbers show that the deficit has fallen to the lowest level since 2007. And yet just yesterday the GOP passed permanent tax cuts for businesses that would add $77 billion to the deficit over the next decade. Can you say monumental hypocrisy?

The largest of the tax cuts, which passed the GOP-controlled House by a vote of 272-142, allows businesses earning up to $2 million a year to write off the cost of new equipment purchases up to $500,000.

Republicans attempted to defend the action on business taxes by arguing that such a cut has been passed before, is extremely popular, and should be made permanent. Paul Ryan, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee said:

“What we are simply trying to do here is produce certainty. We need to give businesses certainty. We need to help them plan for the future. We need to stop this crazy game of extending a tax benefit that has been on the books for quite some time one year at a time, or retroactive one year at a time, and give businesses certainty.”

For their part, House Democrats said any changes in the tax code should be part of a comprehensive reform of tax laws. They also accused the GOP of attempting to “rig” the game. Michigan Congressman Sander Levin remarked:

“The gist of that ploy–take a number of provisions separately, make them permanent, separately make them permanent, and don’t pay a dime for them, not a dime. Not having to pay for $800 billion worth of tax [cuts] made permanent would make it easier for Republicans to lower taxes, especially on higher-income taxpayers, carrying out further their trickle-down tax policies.”

With less revenue available, Republicans could then argue they need to cut programs such as Food Stamps, Head Start, and medical research, Levin added.

Republicans are also planning to float another round of tax cuts which would add an additional $300 billion to the deficit the GOP claims to be so concerned about.

The White House has threatened a veto of the tax cuts unless they are offset through other means and do not add to the deficit.

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org

By Andrew Bradford

Proud progressive journalist and political adviser living behind enemy lines in Red America.

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