Paul Ryan Says Trillion-Dollar Deficits Created By Tax-Cuts For The Wealthy Were Inevitable
Responding to critics within his party who say that leaders have behaved irresponsibly, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said on Sunday that trillion-dollar deficits created by the GOP tax cuts for corporation could not have been avoided by the GOP-controlled Congress.
“That was going to happen. The baby boomers retiring was going to do that,” Ryan said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” of projections that the country will start running trillion-dollar deficits as soon as 2020.
Ryan and other GOP leaders have come under fire for passing a $1.5 trillion tax cut last year, which may wind up costing more than expected, in addition to a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package in March.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) has said voting for the tax package “could well be one of the worst votes I’ve made” and that the Trump administration is “on track to be one of the most fiscally irresponsible administrations in history.”
Ryan, however, said the projected spike on spending for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will have the biggest impact on future deficits.
“These deficit trillion-dollar projections have been out there for a long, long time. Why? Because of mandatory spending which we call entitlements,” he said when pressed by NBC host Chuck Todd on Corker’s criticism, according to The Hill.
Ryan, a former House Budget Committee chairman, pointed out the House passed legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare, which would have included steep cuts to Medicaid, calling the proposal “the biggest entitlement reform bill Congress had ever considered.”
He said the Senate was responsible for it failing to pass, deflecting some blame for the deficits across the Capitol.
Ryan on Wednesday announced that he would be leaving Capitol Hill at the end of the year, claiming that he wants to spend more time with his family.
In delivering the news to his colleagues, Ryan said that among his proudest moments in what will be a 20-year career, one stood out from the pack: the passage of 2017’s Tax Cuts for corporations, a historic transfer of wealth, the likes of which Ryan had been dreaming about since his college kegger days.
Incidentally, thanks in large part to Ryan’s tax legislation, the country is now on a collision course with financial disaster, with the U.S. deficit set to top $1 trillion annually, in perpetuity, starting in 2020, and the national debt set to soar past $33 trillion by 2028.
But while Ryan is leaving town after setting the Treasury on fire—something he pretended to care about under Barack Obama, when tax cuts weren’t on the line—his personal financial situation is about to get quite rosy.
There’s some irony in the fact that Ryan, who famously called poverty a “culture problem” of “men not even thinking about working,” who said the social safety net is a “hammock that lulls able-bodied people into complacency and dependence,” and who extolled the virtues of children seeing their father working, will be quitting his job at 48 in order to do less work for more money.
While Ryan spent much of his career railing against benefits for public-sector employees, he’ll also enjoy a hefty pension package on the back of taxpayers when he heads back to Wisconsin —a golden parachute that will be further inflated if Ryan hangs on until the end of the year, as he has said he will do.