Republican elected officials are trotting out all-too-familiar deficit concerns to diminish support for President Joe Biden's and the Democrats' infrastructure bills, which are still being negotiated by lawmakers.
Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida is one such Republican.
Scott joined Fox News' Chris Wallace for an interview, where he falsely claimed the infrastructure bills—which formerly included widely popular policies like paid family leave—would target poor and working class Americans, rather than the rich. He also excoriated Democrats for supposedly refusing to live within the government's means and contributing to inflation.
Wallace countered by asking whether Scott believes the Tax and Jobs Act of 2017—known colloquially as the Trump Tax Cuts—should be repealed, despite enjoying near-unanimous support from Republican lawmakers.
After Rick Scott cites debt concerns as the reason he won't support infrastructure legislation, Chris Wallace asks… https://t.co/QYUu9ggrUD— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1635691004.0
"You talk about living within your means, you talk about debt, you talk about deficits, the Trump tax cuts—which were passed in 2017, the year before you were elected to the Senate—was estimated by the Congressional Budget Office that it will increase the budget deficit by over $2 trillion over 11 years," Wallace shot back. "So should the Trump tax cuts be repealed?"
Scott deflected to his time as Governor of Florida, saying:
"I cut taxes and fees a hundred times, over $10 billion and I actually balanced a budget and paid off a third of the state debt. You can do both ... I am not gonna waste anybody's money. We have got to do better at the federal level."
"Sir, respectfully, when Donald Trump was president, you had a tax cut which added $2 trillion to the deficit according to the CBO and you didn't have the commensurate spending cuts," Wallace pushed back. "So the question is if you are not going to have the spending cuts, should you repeal the tax cuts if that debt and deficit are so vital?"
Scott then assured that he wanted "lower taxes" but failed to directly answer whether he believed the Trump tax cuts should be repealed.
Twitter users called out his hypocrisy.
Criminal Rick Scott says: Spending on programs directly benefiting Americans most in need… No. Too expensive. Cos… https://t.co/T3mzSKD2VO— WᴶEᴼBᴱB ✌🏼 (@WᴶEᴼBᴱB ✌🏼) 1635700238.0
Voldemort's geeky kid brother is intellectually inconsistent and a gigantic hypocrite - and supported overturning a… https://t.co/X6GDfHhKWy— Jeff Timmer (@Jeff Timmer) 1635694589.0
Republican politicians think we should spend trillions on tax breaks for their super-rich donors, but refuse to inv… https://t.co/kOZLdQjWKz— Scott Huffman for NC 🏴☠️ (@Scott Huffman for NC 🏴☠️) 1635698806.0
What Scott essentially implies here is that larger deficits are acceptable when they’re the product of corporate ta… https://t.co/Ie507jvq8a— Joseph Zeballos-Roig (@Joseph Zeballos-Roig) 1635695276.0
These craven morons just want to avoid taxes for themselves and their wealthy friends. Dude doesn’t even skip a bea… https://t.co/7Tk1C24wTu— Bad Faith ✝️🐴🇺🇲 (@Bad Faith ✝️🐴🇺🇲) 1635698559.0
.@SenRickScott doesn't support #BuildBackBetter b/c he'd have to pay more taxes on the profits he makes off constit… https://t.co/VJcqYmeLXl— Old School SciFi (@Old School SciFi) 1635694010.0
They proceeded to poke holes in his argument and in the perception of Trump as a fiscally responsible President.
In just the *pre-covid* portion of his presidency, Trump signed $4.7T of new debt into law. Roughly half of that ne… https://t.co/wXAeRcZB7D— Catherine Rampell (@Catherine Rampell) 1635691505.0
Republicans like Rick Scott have been peddling the fantasy of trickle-down economics for 40 years now. Reagan, Bus… https://t.co/P55XF0rdwm— Keith Boykin (@Keith Boykin) 1635695846.0
This is the guy who wanted drug tests for all SNAP recipients. The estimated fraud in that program is 3%. Testing c… https://t.co/UmnqMAHMFY— She Sounds Hideous (@She Sounds Hideous) 1635691475.0
Spending concerns from both Republicans and conservative Democrats continue to hinder the passage of the infrastructure bills.