Speed Reads

Quotables

Outgoing GOP Sen. Bob Corker warns that 'the greatest threat to our nation is us'

Republicans are prepared to make a big bet on tax reform, with the White House promising that the economy will boom and make up for revenue lost by tax cuts. Analysts, however, fret that if "economic growth projected by Republicans fails to materialize," then the massive cuts could "balloon the federal deficit and debt," Reuters writes. One outside nonpartisan group said in a "very rough" estimate that the GOP plan outlined this week could cost more than $2 trillion over the next decade, The New York Times reports.

Still, many Republicans — even those who have traditionally criticized Democratic leaders for adding to the debt — have remained quiet about the gamble. As Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) put it: "Every Republican I know of is concerned about the deficit. Every Republican I know of is concerned about tepid growth, too."

Others are speaking out. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) stressed that his colleagues have not indicated they have "the intellectual understanding of the dangers posed by these deficits and accumulated debt," predicting that the U.S. could face an economic collapse.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who announced this week he will not be running for re-election in 2018, also gave his party a grave warning. "I think the greatest threat to our nation is us," said Corker, who sits on the Senate Budget Committee. "The way we handle our finances, we as a nation are the greatest threat to our nation. It's not ISIS. It's not North Korea. It's not ascendant China. It's not Russia. We are the greatest threat."

Read more about why voices like Corker's are "strangely quiet these days in Washington" at The New York Times.