REP. GLENN GROTHMAN, left back, listens to his party’s leader during a Rose Garden ceremony in 2017 celebrating passage of the House Republican health-care bill.
REP. GLENN GROTHMAN, left back, listens to his party’s leader during a Rose Garden ceremony in 2017 celebrating passage of the House Republican health-care bill.

     An editorial in this space almost two years ago suggested that a bet is in order.

     Ripon’s congressman, Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Glenbeulah, told a Ripon College audience in 2016 that a tax cut would result in “maybe more income, maybe not.”

     While we accept such doublespeak from our weather forecasters, whose “partly cloudy/partly sunny” prediction really covers all eventualities, we expect our congressional representatives — particularly those who boast that they are responsibly conservative — to be a bit more precise in prognosticating the fiscal effect of a $1.5 trillion tax-relief bill on this country’s mounting $22.5 trillion debt.

     So we wagered a bet back then, suggesting that because Grothman is gambling with our money under the assumption that tax cuts would improve America’s fiscal future, it’s not unreasonable for us to ask him to raise his own stakes.

     “If he’s right and the net tax revenue increase exceeds the cost, we’ll vote for him a year from now to serve a third term,” we observed in November 2017 ...

     If Grothman’s wrong, we added, “He returns to West Bend and lets someone else decide how to invest the earnings of hard-working Sixth District residents.”

     Remember, this was a tax bill that was not honestly vetted because the president — unable to repeal Obamacare, ban Moslems or build a wall — badly needed a “win” before Congress took off for the 2017 holidays. So damn the hearings, committee meetings, economic projections. Republicans’ mandate was clear: Win won for the Trumper. ...

     Last week, the CBO released its updated Budget and Economic Outlook, stating that the national debt is on an unsustainable path and the recently passed Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 has made an already challenging fiscal situation even worse.

     As federal deficits rise, so do federal borrowing and interest rates, while crowding out some private investment.

     So Grothman’s bet that America would grow its way out of debt literally has proven to be a loser.

     It’s not partly sunny. It’s not even partly cloudy. Rain is pouring into our homes and no one is talking about the hole in the roof.

     Surely Trump lamented such anti-conservative fiscal irresponsibility, right?

     His Aug. 1 tweet: “Budget Deal is phenomenal for our Great Military, our Vets, and Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! Two year deal gets us past the Election. Go for it Republicans, there is always plenty of time to CUT!”

     To be fair, Grothman voted no July 25 on the Bipartisan Budget Act.

     But he voted for a tax bill whose affect he could not articulate, and as our representative in Congress who was in the majority for more than 80% of his time in Congress, he owns the projected cumulative deficit of $12.8 trillion for 2018-2027 that the CBO forecast last week.

     Grothman is no leader.   

     He’s ineffectual, indecisive and inept. ...

     His “maybe more income, maybe not” comment suggests that anyone could replace him in Congress, the sooner the better. ...
                                                 — Tim Lyke

     To read the entire editorial, see the Aug. 29, 2019 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.