Chris Christie was mad. So mad that CNBC security was afraid that he might go Kool-Aid.
The failed governor and successful punchline of millions of bridge jokes didn’t want to talk about fantasy football, which is essentially unregulated gambling that seems to be grifting off of and deluding millions Americans.
He wanted to lie about your Social Security.
“It’s not there anymore. The government stole it and spent it,” he said. “All that’s in that trust fund is a pile of IOUs for money on they spent on something else a long time ago.”
This fantasy that the government will stop paying you the benefits you’ve earned is one of Republicans favorite and scariest lies. It has persisted in conservative backwash since Ronald Reagan made the complex-but-good-enough deal that has kept Social Security viable for generations.
“Christie complained that Social Security is seven years away from bankruptcy, but the latest report from its trustees found it won’t face technical insolvency until 2034,” Politico‘s Mike Grunwald wrote, in his dissection of the many economic fallacies passed off as gospel during Wednesday night’s debate.
Why would Christie push debunked nonsense about Social Security?
Because there’s no faith stronger than a Republican candidate’s belief that his supporters have no idea how government actually works.
Also, he has to.
How else is he going to make the argument for his plan to gut Social Security, which is just a massive scheme to effect the largest middle class tax INCREASE in American history? It’s his only hope to differentiate him from the crowd of other fantasy economic aficionados.
The governor’s dull tax plan is a 2015 version of Mitt Romney’s offering, which would have either added $3 trillion to the deficit or raised taxes mostly on the middle class. This gamble with lowering rates on the richest — who have never been richer are are sucking up most of the gains of the recovery — instead of asking those who can afford it to pay higher rates is actually small ball fantasy economics compared to most of Christie’s GOP competitors.
The Huffington Post‘s Zach Carter looked at their tax plans and found they are all “basically insane:”
Donald Trump’s plan would cost over $10 trillion.
Bobby Jindal’s plan would cost $9 trillion.
Rick Santorum’s would cost $1.1 trillion.
Jeb Bush’s plan? $1.6 trillion.
Marco Rubio? More than $1 trillion over the next decade.
If you look at Carter’s link to the analysis of the Rubio plan from the conservative Tax Foundation, it says that Rubio’s plan “will cost $414 billion each year on a static basis, or more than $4 trillion over the next decade.”
To put that in context, Bernie Sanders plan for free college costs about $70 billion a year. So you could afford free college more than 5 times over before you can cover Rubio’s plan.
There are some good cuts for the working class in the junior Senator’s plan but much of the cost of his plan comes from COMPLETELY ELIMINATING ALL TAXES ON INVESTMENT INCOME EVEN FOR THE RICHEST.
That means Warren Buffett, Mitt Romney and many of the other plutocrats who have seen our economy slanted ever in their favor WOULD PAY NO TAXES.
When Republican get honest enough they admit that tax cuts don’t pay for themselves because they don’t. They believe that tax cuts shouldn’t have pay for themselves, and by “tax cuts,” they mean rich people.
The good thing is that baldfaced lies about Republican tax plans can’t slide by unnoticed the way did in 2000 when George W. Bush just lied about who would benefit most from his tax breaks. This is because of the internet and because we’re running a deficit not a surplus — as Republicans have mentioned a few million times.
If Chris Christie wants to be mad at anyone, it should be his fellow Republicans who are remorselessly proposing massive plans to explode our debt. But you don’t get points in Republican debate for telling the truth or attacking Republicans. You score by whining about the media, which every Republican knows is corrupt because he heard it on Fox News.
Christie’s escalating desperation gets uglier every minute. He isn’t just running a kamikaze campaign against America’s most popular government program. He’s made race-baiting attacks on Black Lives Matter and the president. He accused Planned Parenthood “the systematic murder of children in the womb to preserve their body parts.”
The beautiful thing is he’s so cooked that no one cares.
But the scary thing, is that one of the guys on stage with will be the nominee, and no matter who he is, he’ll be pushing the fantasy economics that gave us a complete disaster for middle class. Then they’ll blame the next Democratic president and Social Security for it not being fixed fast enough.
[Thanks to Walter Welch, who started calling the GOP’s plans “fantasy economics.”]
[Photo by Marc Nozell | Flickr]