Republicans Are Once Again Very, Very Concerned About Deficits

Their solution: Cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid

McConnell called the deficit "disturbing."Douglas Christian/ZUMA Wire

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who last year assured voters that sweeping tax cuts would not add to the country’s growing deficit, expressed concern today…about the federal budget deficit. In a Bloomberg News interview Tuesday morning, McConnell called the deficit “disturbing,” pointing to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as “70 percent” of the spending.  

“There’s been a bipartisan reluctance to tackle entitlement changes because of the popularity of those programs,” said McConnell. “Hopefully at one point here, we will get serious about this. We haven’t been yet.”

The comments come after a Treasury report released Monday showed that the deficit ballooned by 17 percent in fiscal year 2018, increasing from $666 billion to $779 billion. The increase comes as no surprise to economists, who projected that last year’s massive tax cuts—which disproportionately benefited corporations and the wealthy—would add more than $1 trillion to the deficit over 10 years.

In recent months, Republicans have sought to gut social programs, such as pushing stricter work requirements for food stamp and Medicaid recipients, a proposal that a recent Brookings Institution report says could jeopardize impact more than 20 million low-income Americans. In Arkansas, the first state to implement work requirements for Medicaid recipients, more than 8,000 beneficiaries have been kicked off the program since June. McConnell’s home state of Kentucky also tried to enact work requirements for Medicaid recipients after receiving the green light from the Trump administration but was blocked by a federal judge.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate