Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's Not About The Deficit

It's about the right wing ideology that believes that the poor should be forced to feel the pain of a recession. Kevin Drum:
Republicans like to pretend that deficit reduction is their (and their base's) top priority -- but have you noticed how often they reject ideas to actually help close the budget shortfall?

The Democratic health care reform proposal lowered the deficit ... and Republicans opposed it.

The Democratic student-loan bill lowered the deficit ... and Republicans opposed it.

The Democratic effort to let Bush tax cuts for the rich expire will lower the deficit ... and Republicans oppose it.

The Democratic energy/climate bill would lower the deficit ... and Republicans oppose it.

The Democratic effort to reduce bloated Pentagon spending would lower the deficit ... and Republicans oppose it.

And if you press Republican leaders on how they'd prefer to lower the deficit, they can't answer the question.

It's almost as if Republicans say they care about deficit reduction, until they're offered a chance to actually reduce the deficit. If I didn't know better, I might think GOP officials don't think a deficit-reduction measure "counts" unless it undermines struggling families in some way.
And if you weren't convinced that none of this was about the deficit, this type of economic logic should drive it home: (Drum again)
Fiorina, who decided to parlay her professional failures into becoming the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in California, talked to a the CBS affiliate in San Francisco this week about her approach to tax cuts.
"Let me propose something that may seem crazy to you: you don't need to pay for tax cuts. They pay for themselves, if they are targeted, because they create jobs."
This is, in most respects, even more ridiculous than Sen. Jon Kyl's (R-Ariz.) assertion that shouldn't try to pay for tax cuts. For the Senate Minority Whip, tax cuts are always good, even if they increase the deficit, because they shrink government. For the deeply confused Carly Fiorina, the policy is more fantastical -- paying for tax cuts is unnecessary because once taxes are cut, more money simply materializes, magically, in the federal treasury. The deficit simply won't go up, she argues, no matter how much taxes are cut.

Thirty years ago, this raving stupidity had a name: "voodoo economics." More recently, it's come to be known as belief in the "Tax Fairy."

Regardless of the name, the notion that tax cuts necessarily pay for themselves is one of the more pernicious lies in the far-right arsenal. It's both gibberish and right-wing propaganda, but it's nevertheless repeated from time to time.
In the conservative mind there's no problem with cutting taxes and creating massive deficits, because it shrinks government, and that's inherently a good thing in their eyes. Cheney famously said "Regan proved deficits don't matter" and he's right because nothing that conservatives care about will ever get cut, even when Democrats come into office.

Hell, Obama was so terrified of these harmless talking points that he went of his way to create a commission that will submit a bill that could cut Social Security and Medicare to a lame duck congress. Chances are it won't pass, but lending all that credibility to a right wing talking point does enough damage on it's own.

My hope is that one day we'll have a Democratic leader that will take the GOP head on with this deficit bullshit, and ask them to lead the charge in letting the Bush tax cuts expire to ease the "deficit crisis".Or call them out on their plans to cut Social Security. Or to take on the military industrial complex where there really is plenty of wasteful government spending to be cut. It's the easiest gotcha in the book.

I don't know what will force the Democrats to stop being such reactionary wimps, but hopefully in my lifetime...

No comments:

Post a Comment