Over the last twenty-four hours many people have been talking about who should take the “blame” for the failure of the Republican healthcare bill. Some say it is President Trump, others say it is Speaker Ryan, others say it is the so-called Freedom Caucus and yet others astonishingly others blame Democrats. They are all wrong.
It is the American people who did not want the Republican healthcare plan. According to at least one poll, only 18% of Americans wanted the bill to pass. Many of the rest of us were vocal in our opposition on the Internet, in town halls, writing letters, and calling our Congresspeople because the bill would directly affect us and those who we love.
The pundits are saying that the failure President Trump’s and Speaker Ryan’s plan will complicate their agenda, moving forward. They say this because the healthcare plan was supposed to pay for the massive tax overhaul that the president has in mind. These people who say these things are underestimating both the president and the speaker, and in particular Steve Bannon.
There are two forces in play. Speaker Ryan and many Republicans want to see the tax system overhauled. While Speaker Ryan would like to see overhaul come in revenue neutral, when push comes to shove, he will be willing to deficit spend in the short term, and make cuts later, with the logic being that the government has swam in red ink before, and a little more for a bit longer won’t hurt; and that Republicans will eventually stem the bleeding by simply forcing the issue.
Steve Bannon has a different logic. He would just assume see the government bleed to death. If destruction of the federal government is brought about faster due to the tax overhaul, that would be more than fine with him. Those same Republicans in Congress who nearly caused the government to default might play this game.
The reason this is likely to work is that the tax overhaul will be a gigantic give-away, and everyone will make money in the short term. Nobody will be screaming at Congressmen in town halls. Nobody will be worried about how this will hurt them personally.
It will be our children and theirs who pay for this policy.