During an appearance on Fox News Sunday over the weekend, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) — who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which is an official arm of the Republican Party that handles Senate races — got shut down by host Chris Wallace over the GOP’s hypocrisy on federal spending. Self-confident Republican leaders like Scott talk a big game when it comes to balancing the budget and the like — but then they support initiatives like the deficit-ballooning Trump tax cuts. Republicans also seem fine to back government spending when it suits them.
As Wallace pointedly put it:
‘Senator, you talk about living within your means, you talk about the debt, you talk about deficits. The Trump tax cuts, which were passed in 2017, the year before you were elected to the Senate, [are] estimated by the Congressional Budget Office that [they are] going to increase the deficit by over $2 trillion over 11 years. So should the Trump tax cuts be repealed?’
Scott didn’t directly answer the question. Instead, he referenced his time as governor of Florida, discussing the budget-balancing that went on while he was in charge and insisting that what the federal government should go with is cutting spending while also lowering taxes. Notably, Scott’s commitment to cutting spending apparently didn’t apply during the earlier parts of the pandemic, when he was among those who voted in favor of the sweeping COVID-19 relief legislation known as the CARES Act. That bill cost some $2 trillion — and Scott’s support for it reflects the fact that you can’t just wave a magic wand and eliminate the need for sometimes substantial government spending.
As Scott nevertheless put it on Sunday:
‘You can do both [lower taxes and address the deficit]… The way you do it is, you look at every line of your budget.’
Wallace chimed in as follows, pointing out that Republicans supported the Trump tax cuts without enacting accompanying government spending cuts to eliminate the impacts to the deficit:
‘But, sir, respectfully — when Donald Trump was president, you had this tax cut, which added $2 trillion to the deficit, according to the CBO. And you didn’t have the commensurate spending cuts. So, the question is, if you’re not going to have the spending cuts, should you repeal the tax cuts — if the debt and deficit are so vital?’
Scott evaded the question yet again, instead remarking as follows:
‘I am not raising anybody’s taxes. I want lower taxes. I want to watch how we spend our money. I’ve been in the Senate now 2 years and 9 months. The amount of waste is staggering. Americans should be furious with the way money is spent in the Senate and in all Congress.’
Check out Scott’s comments on Fox below: