WASHINGTON, D.C. – As highlighted here previously, the only Republican House member not from New York, new Jersey, or California to vote against the GOP tax cuts was North Carolina’s own Congressman Walter Jones.
Jones is THE deficit hawk on Capitol Hill, voting against every debt ceiling increase, spending bills, and, yes, even the tax cuts championed by President Trump and passed by Republicans in congress.
His intransigence on the issue of deficits have lead Jones to buck his party on too many occasions to list here. It also leads him to take misguided positions that run counter to the underlying principles of fiscal conservatism – like his vote against allowing individuals to hold on to more of their income.
Some Republicans gripe about Jones’ votes, while the Left has repeatedly used them to attack Republicans to feign concern for the deficit. This is what is exactly what’s happening with his latest vote as evidenced by the Washington Post using Jones to denigrate Trump, the Right, and the historic tax cut package.
“There are 291 Republicans in Congress, and only one voted against the GOP tax bill because he thinks it will increase the U.S. deficit.
A 12-term congressman from the eastern banks of North Carolina, Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr. (R-N.C.) says his fellow House Republicans have used cherry-picked data and fanciful projections to delude themselves that the plan will not balloon the federal deficit.
“I guarantee you, if Mr. Obama was the president and he put this tax bill in, those deficit hawks in my party would get out of the nests and start squawking,” Jones said. “But here they are, and because it’s a Republican president possibly adding $1.5 to $2 trillion to this country’s deficit, they’re going to stay in the nest and not squawk about it.”
Jones’s vote against the legislation, which passed last week, makes him unique among his party in putting the preeminent concern that had dominated GOP policymaking for years — the mushrooming national debt — ahead of the tax package.”
Jones’s main criticism of the tax package is that he believes it will explode a federal deficit already reaching unsustainable levels. That conviction, coupled with his maverick voting record, is central to his rejection of the law.
“At the time I joined, the Republican Party was very outspoken about the debt of the nation. … I look at where we are as a nation now, and the Republican Party doesn’t stand for less government and less spending,” Jones said. “It spends like there’s no tomorrow.””
(Excuse me, WaPo, they’re called the ‘Outer Banks,’ not the ‘Eastern Banks,’ but that’s neither here, nor there.)
More importantly, if we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times – TAX CUTS ARE NOT THE SAME AS SPENDING.
There are two sides to any accounting ledger for any budget. One side counts money coming in, and the other side tallies money going out. That money going out is ‘spending.’
Allowing people to keep more of their hard earned money falls on the other side of the ledger, Mr. Jones. Not stealing as much money from citizens and hypothetically reducing the amount coming into government coffers (real life usually proves the opposite is the case) is not equal to spending money.
How is protecting the government’s lofty revenue levels standing for less government? Reducing burdensome and immorally progressive taxes, and slashing spending and wasteful programs are the two surest ways to achieve less government. Slash spending AND taxes.
Jones deserves some credit, of course, because the congressman indeed votes against actual spending bills that add to the deficit as well. He does so religiously.
But can we please expense with the illogical notion that tax cuts add to deficits? The only thing that adds to deficits is spending beyond one’s means. If the means change, so should the spending, but don’t hold taxpayers hostage to the Swamp’s addiction to profligate spending.
Admittedly, cutting spending is by far the most difficult task to get through congress. That’s why Jones should spend less time fighting tax cuts and providing fodder for the Left, and more effort in building coalitions to restrain the money going out.
As it stands now, Jones is merely ostracizing himself and further opening the door for primary challengers, and not the kind conservatives will necessarily like.