Mitch McConnell Just Revealed Why The Midterms Are So Important

As the midterm elections approach, the Senate Majority Leader is already eying his next move.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. gives members of the media a thumbs up as he leaves the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. gives members of the media a thumbs up as he leaves the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The Rantt Rundown: Day 635 of the Trump presidency

The Lede: On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the stakes of the upcoming midterm elections very clear to voters around the US. In an interview with Bloomberg NewsMcConnell deployed a familiar tactic from the GOP playbook: he blamed the deficit that the Republican tax cut caused on entitlement programs (Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid), signaling they could be the Republican Party’s next target.

These remarks came after the Treasury Department reported that the deficit has expanded to $779 billion in President Trump’s first full fiscal year as POTUS.

The Context: In December of 2017, the Republican Party passed and signed a $1.5 trillion tax cut into law. The tax cuts have been projected to add about $2 trillion to the national debt over a decade by the Congressional Budget Office. Like the Bush and Reagan tax cuts before them, the tax cuts led to a surge in stock buybacks while employee wages have remained largely stagnant. The tax cut has largely benefited the top 1% of Americans and will surely perpetuate income inequality.

During the debate over the tax bill in Congress, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said: “Not only will this tax plan pay for itself, but it will pay down debt.” In spite of the fact this tax cut was clearly set to balloon the deficit, McConnell sold this law as a revenue driver. In one of the many instances where he made this claim, McConnell told CBS News: “We are totally confident this is a revenue neutral bill, and probably a revenue producer.”

Those statements turned out to be false.

The Analysis: Mitch McConnell helped reduce tax revenues and subsequently increased government spending, but is now claiming that entitlements are to blame for the deficit. After successfully solidifying a conservative majority on the Supreme Court for a generation and passing a tax law that benefits the wealthy, McConnell has signaled that the GOP may go for entitlement programs next. The stakes have never been clearer. If the Republican Party overperforms in the midterm elections, the biggest losers won’t be the Democrats, but vulnerable Americans.

Check out episode 4 of our five-part docu-series on income inequality.

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Rundown // Donald Trump / Healthcare / Mitch McConnell