The new speaker Mike Johnson has wasted no time in showing that he is as much a cynical politician as any in the GOP. Given the enthusiasm with which his election was received by the party, we should have expected no less, but it is still noteworthy.
The Biden administration had asked Congress for $104 billion for aid to Ukraine, Israel, and other causes. Spending bills have to originate in the House of Representatives and Johnson has decided to show his cleverness by passing a bill that would provide just the $14.3 billion for Israel, but require that this spending be offset by cutting the same amount from that dedicated to the IRS to hire new tax auditors in the Inflation Reduction Act passed earlier.
Johnson argues that this proves that the GOP are fiscal conservatives, a blatant lie since they have bloated the deficit repeatedly when they controlled Congress and the White House, by providing massive massive tax cuts for the rich. The Congressional Budget Office says that in reality, this bill would actually increase the deficit since the ‘saving’ of $14.3 billion on IRS agents will actually result in more than $26.8 billion of lost revenue due to inadequate auditing of wealthy people.
This bill is so obviously unserious that it will not even be brought up in the senate and president Biden has said he will veto it anyway. Johnson is trying to make the claim that Democrats prioritize hiring IRS agents over aiding Israel when the reality is that it is the GOP that is prioritizing helping the wealthy over aiding Israel. The devotion of the GOP to preserving and increasing the wealth of the already filthy rich is a marvel to behold.
Meanwhile, while he pursues these stunts, the budget deadline of November 17th is less than two weeks away.
This cartoon perfectly captures Johnson’s logic.