Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who spends a lot of time stoking fear about deficits under President Obama, explained on MSNBC this morning that the “difference” between President Bush and Obama is that Obama is spending far too much.
However, later in the very same interview, King threw concern for the deficit out the window, saying Congress should extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, and that there is no need to pay for the $678 billion in lost revenue they represent. “You don’t have to ask for a paid-for” to offset tax cuts, King said, before making the ludicrous claim that Bush’s cuts “increased revenues”:
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Since you are, I’m presume, support extending the Bush tax cuts, do you think that you guys should figure out a way to pay for them, since it will add to the deficit, decreasing government revenues?
KING: [...] They have stimulated the economy. It is not paid for with offsets, those tax cuts have been in place as you characterized them, since May 28th of 2003. This is a continuation of a tax policy, so I would say you don’t have to ask for a paid-for continued tax policy. This is a tax increase if we let this happen without doing something happen about it. They have also demonstrated they increase in revenue with the capital gains as a part of that.
King is hardly the first congressional Republican to attack President Obama for increasing the deficit, while simultaneously endorsing the addition of hundreds of billions of dollars more in order to preserve tax cuts for the wealthy. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) explained last week that “you should never have to offset the cost” of tax cuts, while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said, “there’s no evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue.” These sentiments have been parroted by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), and Sens. Judd Gregg (R-NH), Tom Coburn (R-OK), and John Cornyn (R-TX), among others.
Of course, history has proven that the Bush tax cuts did not stimulate the economy, did not pay for themselves, and certainly did not increase tax revenue. Even Bush’s federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan — who once championed the tax cuts — recognized these facts earlier this month, calling on Congress to allow all the cuts to expire, in order to pay down the deficit.