House Speaker Paul Ryan plans a major cut to the country’s entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare to help fix the deficit, but this political goal could be hard to achieve because of the political context next year.
After passing a $1.5 trillion tax cut with the new tax plan bill, Republicans need new ways to help shrink the widening deficit. But less revenue is not necessarily a bad thing as the government can find ways to do more with less money.
After the Great Recession, the U.S. debt jumped to $20 trillions, and now, even after a rebound of the economy, the deficits are expected to hit the $1 trillion mark in 2018.
However, saving more money after such generous tax cuts could take a heavy political toll on Republicans like Ryan as the mid-term elections approach. The same thing happened to Democrats in 2010 after they passed the ACA and the economic stimulus legislation.
Republicans Targeting Entitlement Programs
Ryan envisions tax cuts as ways of boosting economic growth despite of the hits to the federal budget. If the debt is increasing, Republicans will seek more deficit reduction policies.
The central policy is to reduce the size and functions of the U.S. government. Ryan now eyes the so-called entitlement programs which include the Obama-era Medicaid and Medicare. Ryan even announced an “entitlement reform” which will include programs set in place by Democrats in a bid to help the poor, the disabled, and the elderly.
Republicans and Democrats have been historically split when it comes to entitlement programs. In 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt approved the Social Security program to become a law. At the time, Republicans blasted the move for being the “largest tax bill” in the nation’s history and a assault to the working American.
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