‘On what planet is that fiscally responsible?’ GOP spending cuts would kill 500,000 jobs

"Even by the low standards of Congress in 2023, it's shocking how quickly House Republicans ripped up their end of the bargain that steered the country clear of default last month."

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SOURCECommon Dreams
Image Credit: REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

An analysis released Wednesday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that House Republicans’ proposed cuts to federal spending for the coming fiscal year would kill 500,000 jobs and hinder economic growth, findings that Democrats seized on as further evidence of the GOP’s “willful disregard for the well-being of Americans.”

The CBO examined the potential economic impacts of Republicans’ Limit, Save, Grow Act (LSGA), legislation that the GOP-controlled House passed in late April amid a debt ceiling crisis that the party manufactured.

The White House and GOP leaders later struck a deal that included caps on discretionary spending for the next two fiscal years, but Republican appropriators have spent the past several weeks proposing cuts that are more in line with the LSGA, which took aim at Medicaid, federal food assistance, and other critical programs.

According to the CBO, the Republican bill’s far-reaching spending cuts would result in 0.5% lower GDP growth next year, which “would correspond to reductions in employment.” The CBO’s analysis indicates that roughly half a million workers would lose their jobs in 2024 if the LSGA became law.

“Employment would remain below the level in CBO’s forecast through 2027,” the analysis notes.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), the chair of the Senate Budget Committee and the lawmaker who requested the CBO assessment, said in a statement that “these new cuts, in addition to being wildly unpopular, are shown to inflict widespread economic pain and drag down American economic growth.”

“Republicans shower the wealthy with budget-busting tax giveaways, then claim to care about deficits,” said Whitehouse. “In their anti-government, pro-polluter crusade, MAGA Republicans have no problem harming workers and families as collateral damage. On what planet is that fiscally responsible?”

“Even by the low standards of Congress in 2023, it’s shocking how quickly House Republicans ripped up their end of the bargain that steered the country clear of default last month.”

The analysis comes as Republicans are pushing ahead with government funding bills that would slash spending on infrastructure, education, climate action, the Social Security Administration, and more, proposals that Democrats oppose. The federal government could shut down at the end of September if Congress doesn’t pass funding legislation.

“Even by the low standards of Congress in 2023, it’s shocking how quickly House Republicans ripped up their end of the bargain that steered the country clear of default last month,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said Wednesday. “We ought to take this as a clear indication that Republicans cannot be trusted to stand by any of their commitments, especially when it comes to protecting Medicare and Social Security.”

“Right now wages are up, unemployment is down, and inflation has cooled off, but the plans House Republicans are committed to passing would destroy half a million jobs and slam the brakes on our economy,” Wyden added. “It’s a recipe for slower growth and financial hardship for families all across the country.”

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