How’s the economy doing? While some of the numbers are good—unemployment is down, job growth is up, two things are still important to note. One, while job growth is up, wages are not. Only 4 percent of corporations, who received their huge tax break from Trump and the Republican Congress, have given wage increases. That means many people are working full time but their pay is too low to cover expenses. A minimum wage worker would have to work two and a half full-time jobs to be able to afford a one bedroom house in most communities in Georgia.
Another threat is the drastic increase in the budget deficit. At $779 billion in 2018, it is now at its highest in five years. The government has to borrow more to cover its spending. By 2019 it is expected to reach $1.1 trillion. This has been a problem which Republicans have talked about for years, but in actually it is during Republican administrations that the deficit goes up. Why? Because there is always a huge tax cut for wealthy Americans—along with a small, appeasement one for the rest of us. So how do they propose to cut this deficit?
Trump and the Republican Congress will tell you this has happened because we are spending too much on “entitlements.” The Senate Majority Leader last week declared in an interview that entitlement spending is an issue. So their plan is to decrease that spending. That means cuts to Medicare and Social Security- these are not entitlements. Each of us paid for these programs in our weekly or monthly pay checks all the years we worked. It is our money but they want to spend it so the upper 1 percent gets more tax cuts. Other programs which help those most in need, like Medicaid, Food Stamps, Meals on Wheels, after school programs and housing will be cut too. I don’t know about you, but I depend on Medicare and Social Security.
The reality is that the tax revenues are not keeping up with government spending. Revenues tumbled after December when Trump signed into law $1.5 trillion in tax cuts. While these cuts have led to some economic growth, Trump promised that the cuts would pay for themselves. But so far there is no sign of that happening. Corporations saw their taxes slashed and regulations gutted and they have more cash on hand than ever. Why haven’t workers gotten wage increases? The top 1 percent saw 83 percent of the revenue from these tax cuts go to them. Lots more yachts are being built and more travel overseas, but that isn’t doing much for the everyday Georgian’s bank account.