The GOP can no longer claim it believes in fiscal responsibility


In today’s Republican Party, policies have to satisfy the belief that the less fortunate are poor by choice:

It’s time to put an end to the myth that Republicans believe in fiscal responsibility. Saving taxpayer dollars takes a back seat to the ideological imperative of blaming and shaming the poor.

Witness the GOP’s long-awaited plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. House committees are moving forward on the legislation before the Congressional Budget Office has even had a chance to estimate how much the measure will cost. Why the rush? Because if the plan doesn’t snatch away health insurance coverage from millions of people — and both President Trump and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) swear it won’t — then it’s surely going to cost a ton.

The Republican plan would take away the ACA’s subsidies and replace them with refundable tax credits based on age for incomes up to $75,000 for an individual and $150,000 for a married couple. This means a windfall for those who are older and well-to-do. In essence, the plan would expand government assistance to encompass many who don’t really need it — in order to avoid targeting help toward those who do.

The GOP plan would also eliminate the ACA’s penalty fee for not having health insurance, which goes into the public till — and replace it with a different penalty fee that goes to the insurance companies. Apparently Republicans have no problem committing what they once called “extortion” if the benefit goes to private companies, not the common good.

Keep in mind that Trump and GOP leaders in Congress promise that after dealing with health care they will seek huge tax cuts, including for the wealthy. As fiscal policy, how does this make sense?

It doesn’t. It only makes sense as ideology. In today’s Republican Party, policies have to satisfy the belief that the less fortunate are poor by choice.

You can read the rest at the Washington Post.

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