Key Democrat Says He Wants to Cut the Deficit in Half

Key Democrat Says He Wants to Cut the Deficit in Half


Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), chair of the House Budget Committee, told Reuters Tuesday that Democrats are working on a fiscal plan that would cut the annual deficit in half in 10 years.

While it won’t be easy to cut the deficit by “half a trillion dollars” by 2029, Yarmuth said that options for achieving the reduction could include raising the corporate tax rate to 26 percent or 27 percent, up from the 21 percent enacted by Republicans in 2017. But even then, headwinds from trade wars, slowing economies around the world and a possible recession in the U.S. could weigh on the effort.

Increased spending could also complicate matters as Democrats push to expand Medicare, boost public education and respond to global warming. Yarmuth said that while he hopes to vote to expand Medicare this year, he plans to counsel restraint to the growing number of progressives in the House. “We have some members I believe in the caucus who believe in the theory that you can spend whatever you want to spend. And I don’t think that’s possible,” Yarmuth said.

Despite their big plans, Democratic lawmakers may see limited results, given the reality of Republican control of the Senate and the White House. “It’s fair to say that virtually everything the Democratic majority in the House will be doing for the next two years will be demonstrating a different vision for the country and direction for the country,” Yarmuth told Reuters.