Finance

Jake Tapper to GOP senator: ‘You gave me and Anderson Cooper a huge tax break’

CNN host Jake Tapper questioned a Republican senator on Wednesday as to how the GOP could talk about curbing growth to Medicare and Medicaid just after passing the Republican tax bill.

In an interview with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Tapper questioned how Toomey and other Republicans could talk about making cuts to federal entitlement programs while simultaneously giving "a huge tax break" to the wealthiest Americans.

"We've got entitlement spending that is not sustainable," Toomey explained. "These big spending programs that are growing faster than the economy. You can't tax your way out of that problem. You've got to make some curbs."

"But just to play devil's advocate, you're going to say that about Medicare, and welfare, and Medicaid, and the like just after you gave me and Anderson Cooper a huge tax break?" Tapper responded.

"Yeah, I'm going to defend the proposition that tax reform should be about maximizing economic growth, and if we do that, by the way, then we also maximize revenue," Toomey responded.

"And separately, no matter what you do, whether you're right or wrong on the revenue side, you still have to have a government spending that is growing no faster than the economy," he added. "You have to get that right. So I think we got that done to a very large degree with today's completion of this tax reform, and over time we still need to address these fundamental imbalances in our big entitlement programs."

Republicans in the House and Senate have taken aim at entitlement spending in recent days as Congress works to get the tax-reform plan on President Trump's desk by the end of the year. The House passed a final version of the plan on Wednesday.

"We're going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit," House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said earlier this month.

"We have a welfare system that's trapping people in poverty and effectively paying people not to work," Ryan added. "We've got to work on that."

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