This isn’t the first time Pelosi has referred to the GOP tax bill as “Armageddon.” She made the exact same statement on Joy Reid’s show in October. But in this case, now that the bill has passed the Senate, a reporter asked Pelosi if she wanted to dial back the extremist rhetoric a little. Pelosi’s response was an emphatic no.
Reporter: Democrats talk about this bill often in very apocalyptic terms, but isn’t really what’s going on is that many people are getting a very modest tax cut and some people are getting a tax increase while a lot of this is also going to business but it’s not the end of the world?
Pelosi: No, it is the end of the world. This—Health care, the debate on health care is life-death. This is Armageddon. This is a very big deal. Because you know why? There is really a very hard way to come back from this. They take us further, more deeply, into debt. What can you do but raise taxes.
As soon as she finished her rant, Rep. Steny Hoyer came forward and tried to take it down a notch saying, “Look, I’m not going to say it’s the end of the world and Nancy didn’t mean it was the end of the world, but one ought not to diminish the consequences of passing this bill.” After Hoyer finished, Pelosi stepped up and said, “The only reason this isn’t the end of the world is that America is a great country.”
So if you look at what Pelosi was saying here, first she is concerned about repeal of the Individual Mandate, which would take health insurance from no one. Instead it would allow people to decide whether or not to buy insurance rather than being required to do so by the government.
Second, both Pelosi and Hoyer are terribly concerned about the debt, calling Republicans hypocrites for voting for a bill that will increase it. That’s fair enough, but it’s equally true that Democrats, including Pelosi, haven’t cared much about the debt for the past 8 years while it was rising sharply under President Obama. From Business Insider:
Based on quarterly data released by the US Treasury, the debt at the end of 2008 — just before Obama took office — stood at roughly $10,699,805,000,000.
As of the third quarter of 2016, the most recent data available, the debt as Obama is set to leave office stood at $19,573,445,000,000…
Thus, the national debt under Obama will have grown by about $9 trillion, or an increase of 86%.
Here’s Pelosi just four years ago arguing that the sequester effort to deal with the debt was a bad idea and concluding the U.S. does not have a spending problem:
And here’s Pelosi today calling this new spending Armageddon. As is often the case, the hypocrisy argument really cuts both ways on this one.