Mick Mulvaney Defends Tax Cuts And Spending Bill

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Mick Mulvaney intimated once again that in order for the president to pass the kind of legislation  he wants, he'll need 60 votes in the Senate to do it. I took issue with this point. The president didn't run on being able to make deals only if he had enough Republicans in Congress to pass bills without any Democratic support. He ran on being the best dealmaker Washington D.C. has ever seen and that he'd bring both parties together to get stuff done. He should still be held to that standard and this recent push to change the rules could result in short-term gains with long-term consequences. 
  • Mulvaney is confident that the GDP growth projections of 3-4% resulting from the tax reform package will in fact happen and the revenue resulting from that growth will pay for the cuts. While I think we could certainly see periods of 3% growth (maybe even a little more) I'm much more skeptical that we can sustain that level for a long enough period of time to cover the full costs of the cuts. If we can't, we're looking at massive deficits and rising debt. 
  • Mulvaney defended the structural setup of the individual tax cuts. I would have liked to have seen the cuts lead to an even higher percent increase in after-tax income for lower and middle class families and a lower percent increase in after-tax income for the wealthiest recipients. My plan would have allowed everyone to receive a cut but would have been even more beneficial to middle class families. Mulvaney didn't offer up much of an answer explaining why this wasn't how the cuts were structured aside from saying that everyone will benefit and both sides have some complaints with the plan. 
 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images. 

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