Here are the first three paragraphs from this morning’s Wheeling Intelligencer editorial, “Spending Control is Missing in D.C.”:
As members of Congress were debating a massive tax reform bill last month, many critics were vociferous in saying they just could not vote for it for one reason: The measure will increase the national debt.
There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the $20.6 trillion national debt and how it simply could not be allowed to grow.
As we pointed out at the time, all that concern over deficit spending struck a bit of a sour note, coming as it did from many lawmakers, both Democrat and Republican, who played parts in digging the nation into a deep hole of debt.
The Intelligencer clearly wants us to believe that they raised concerns while the tax reform debate was going on. That’s a lie. Here’s the critical timeline as reported by the New York Times:
Republicans passed their sweeping tax overhaul through the Senate just before 2 a.m. on Saturday, two weeks after the House passed its own measure.
That was Saturday, December 2 and the tax debate was over; all that remained was for the House and Senate to iron out differences before it moved on to a president who very much wanted a legislative victory. But it wasn’t until Monday, December 4 that the Intelligencer bravely editorialized for the first time about the national debt. Here’s what I wrote about their editorial later that day:
I should have seen this coming. When Republicans (and their defenders like our local “newspapers”) were asked about the huge deficits that would occur with the Republican tax reforms, they either pointed to how the cuts would pay for themselves (which economists said would not happen) or they ignored it as our local papers often did. . . .
But now that both the House and Senate have finally passed tax bills, the word “deficit” has quickly returned to the editorial page of the morning Intelligencer. With unintended irony, given that this is the locals’ first mention of the national debt since Congress took up tax reform, we are told “Concern on Debt Is Long Overdue.”
That was editorial #1 and I noted in my post what other writers had already pointed out -- that this was probably the plan all along: enact tax cuts that will balloon the national debt and then use that huge debt as an excuse to cut social programs. Now we get editorial #2 which puts “spending control” in its title while making the false claim that they’ve always had concerns about the debt.