James Rowen
Op Ed

Rep. Grothman Loves, Hates Deficit

GOP Congressman leads in tax-supported newsletters and contradictions on the deficit.

By - May 23rd, 2018 12:21 pm
Glenn Grothman

Glenn Grothman

It isn’t exactly breaking news to discover a logic deficit in the official world of Glenn Grothman – – see Grothman, money or Grothman, parenting- – but when the deficit actually has to do with deficits, notice must be taken.

You may have seen the story about Grothman spending about three times as much on taxpayer-paid newsletters than the average spent by others in the WI House of Representatives delegation.

The story is worth a read if for no other reason than seeing Glenn justify, in part, his big spending of taxpayer money on newsletters because he says he’s being outspent in his race for re-election by someone who has more money than does he.

Such unfairness has never been visited on anyone running against a wealthier Republican, like, say, Jim Sensenbrenner or Paul Ryan, but let’s get back to Glenn’s deficit thinking by consulting his e-newletters.

Specifically, in this recent newsletter paen to Paul Ryan, there was this – – “As Speaker, possibly his greatest achievement was ushering in the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act…”

Then followed by these paragraphs:

We are $21 trillion in debt.

That is more than $65,000 for every man, woman and child in America. The reckless government spending today will be a burden to our children and grandchildren tomorrow.

With that in mind, the House brought H.J.Res. 2 to the floor for a vote. This bill proposed the idea of adding an amendment to our Constitution stating that for each fiscal year, government spending could not be greater than revenue.

Unfortunately for our country, the vast majority of Democrats voted against this resolution, striking it down. Voting no on this bill was in essence voting yes for more debt, more partisanship and kicking the can down the road.

I voted voted yes on H.J.Res. 2 and no on the recently passed omnibus because we desparately [Sic] need to get our fiscal house in order.

Somehow Grothman missed the deficit-exploding implications of Ryan’s tax bill as reported by the business magazine Forbes:

Paul Ryan’s Most Lasting Legacy: Permanent Trillion-Dollar Deficits

He’s not going to be in office when they start to happen, but Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) most lasting legacy as speaker of the House of  Representatives will be as the person who enabled permanent trillion-dollar deficits in the United States.

Ryan’s announcement today that he would not seek reelection came less than 48 hours after the Congressional Budget Office released a report that for the first time officially confirmed what private sector analysts have been saying for months: Because of last year’s big tax cut and this year’s big spending increase, even in good economic times the federal deficit will be very close to $1 trillion in 2019, will reach $1 trillion in 2020 and will exceed $1 trillion every year through at least 2028.

Ryan not only made all this happen, he is taking a great deal of satisfaction from having done it. He specifically cited the tax bill during his announcement today as one of his proudest accomplishments.

James Rowen, a former journalist and mayoral staffer in Milwaukee and Madison, writes a regular blog, The Political Environment.

Categories: Op-Ed, Politics

One thought on “Op Ed: Rep. Grothman Loves, Hates Deficit”

  1. frank schneiger says:

    For a state that was a leader in social and environmental law, one that sent people like Nelson, Proxmire, Reuss and others to Congress, it is sad to see Wisconsin lead the far-right, plutocratic/racially motivated race to the bottom. Whenever you watch C-Span, even in the sea of congressional mediocrity, Grothman and Johnson stand out for their embarrassing ignorance and incoherence, invariably delivered with sneering arrogance. (To his credit, Johnson owns a decent suit, white shirt and tie. The same can’t be said for Grothman who looks like he just walked in from the Rescue Mission.)

    This would all be entertaining if it weren’t for the enormous stakes and what is happening to the country. The Republican reactionary far-right is now on the threshold of achieving its greatest goal: wiping out nearly a century’s worth of social and racial progress going back to the New Deal. The tax law is probably the final nail in the coffin, dooming Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, along with the rest of the frayed social safety net and fulfilling Paul Ryan’s Ayn Rand dream for the war of all against all.

    In referring to the reactionary response to social progress, the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead said, “It is the first step in sociological wisdom to recognize that the major advances in civilization are processes that all but wreck the societies in which they occur.” Grothman’s constituents and the many like them always assume that the wreckage will be visited on “the others.” They are likely to be in for a big surprise in the years immediately ahead. The old lady who wanted “the government” to “keep its goddamn hands off my Medicare” is going to get her wish, but not in the way that she intended. She is going to have lots of company.

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