Last week, in the middle of the night, Senate Republicans passed a $1.4 trillion tax cut bill that was hastily scribbled on scraps of paper, and that most lawmakers had not seen before they voted on it. Most economists say the tax cut bill will increase the deficit and not spur significant economic growth. So why are Republicans pressing forward with this bill? To try to answer that, I called up Ronald Reagan’s former economic policy adviser Bruce Bartlett. He worked closely with Reagan on some of the major tax cuts of the 1980s, but has since become a critic of the modern Republican Party’s tax cut zeal. He has a new book out called “The Truth Matters: A Citizen’s Guide to Separating Facts from Lies and Stopping Fake News in Its Tracks.” Bartlett argues that the new tax cut bill is all part of a long-term conservative strategy to create the budget conditions that will justify cutting larger social programs.


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