The GOP's situational concern about deficits

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

The GOP's situational concern about deficits

What Kevin Drum said:

Republicans didn't care about the deficit when Reagan was president, they didn't care when Bush Sr. was president, and they didn't care when Bush Jr. was president. They only get religion when a Democrat is president and they need an all-purpose reason to oppose everything Democrats want to do.

Is this really too complicated to understand? It's a political tactic — and a good one! — not a genuine reaction to anything in the real world.

In the real world, stimulus spending is winding down, Medicare was reformed a mere 14 months ago and is solvent for at least another decade, Social Security is solvent for two or three decades, and the deficit is very plainly not a domestic spending problem.

It wasn't a problem at all until 2001, and after that it was caused by two gigantic tax cuts, two unfunded wars, and a finance-industry driven recession. If we just let the tax cuts expire, get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and get the economy moving, the medium-term deficit will disappear.

In the meantime, grinding unemployment in the United States is really a wee bit more important than continuing to humor Republican political posturing.

Read the rest at Mother Jones.

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    More liberal media hogwash. It is Hussein Obama's socialist agenda that is driving up the deficit. (See, I watch Fox News)

    I don't know how the Left will ever be able to effectively lead this country when half of the people they govern have essentially given up their right to think for themselves.(Not that those on the left are much better)

    The Right/Fox have Ph. D's in propaganda and the left is stuck playing in the sand box in kindergarten.

    The truth does not matter. No one on the right cares that tax cuts and wars are the cause. Don't you get it, Obama and you commie socialist liberal America hating welfare baby killers are the cause. I know this is true cuz Fox says so almost 24 hours a day.

    Sorry for the rant, but posting stuff like this post here is meaningless b/c WE get it. The people who need to see it never will because they don't care about the truth. It just gets in the way of their ideology.

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      So, Michael, we should just abdicate all responsibility towards pointing out the truth?

      Yes, I realize that the other side doesn't care about facts--I've read enough right-wing blogs and listened to enough right-wing radio to understand that.

      But that doesn't mean we give in and not present the facts.

      Also, don't assume that it's only liberals who read this blog--there clearly are non-liberals who not only read this blog, but also post comments.

      As someone who grew up with conservative parents, and bought that line for awhile, I understand that being exposed to facts that contradict the right-wing mind set can change hearts and minds.

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        What MH said.

        Also, I meet BlueOregon readers all the time who thank me for the site - precisely because we give then the facts and the arguments they need to make the case to their less-progressive friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers.

        Yes, we're preaching to the choir here - but the choir needs preaching to; that's how you get them to sing!

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          More, they have found in many, many studies that there is about 15% on either side that will simply vote party line, no matter what. The vast majority lie in the middle, and will go back and forth for many reasons. By putting actual information out there, perhaps we can get a few more people out there to think for themselves.


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    Another inconvenient truth for the right: Tax cuts for the rich do nothing to lower unemployment.

    In 1981 the unemployment rate started going up immediately after taxes for the wealthy were cut in August of that year, going from the low-to-mid 7% range to over 10%, where it stayed for 10 months.

    When taxes for the wealthy were increased in 1993, the unemployment rate when down for 8 consecutive years.

    There may or may not be a cause and effect relationship here, but it's clear that lower taxes for the rich does not cause the unemployment rate to go down, and higher taxes for the rich does not cause it to go up.

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    The present GOP leadership voted 19 times to raise the debt limit under GW Bush. Suddenly they are concerned. The answer to that is it's a smokescreen for the agenda to dismantle the New Deal and govt. programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Soc. Sec. that actually help people and enjoy broad support.

    And why do they hate program that help people? Because they worship the ideology of "ME", wealth for the wealthy. Paul Ryan, their new darling says he worships the ideology of Ayn Rand as a basis for "morality." Apparently he forgot that Ayn Rand hates God, and said so in an interview with Mike Wallace. She wanted to get rid of religion because religion supports altruism, which she hates. Religion is " a sign of psychological weakness", GOP. So says the heroine you worship, Ayn Rand. This AD is now running in Wisconsin.

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    The problem is not that this is preaching to the choir. The problem is that the Obama White House doesn't get it--which is why they are now "compromising" with the Rs on how much of the budget cuts to put on the back of the neediest--and by the way, the middle class.

    Are you hearing of any struggle over bringing the troops home, cutting the unimaginably bloated Pentagon budget (that embarrasses even Sec. Gates), going after offshore tax dodges and all the rest? Do you believe that Obama will actually end the Bush tax cuts? If so, why?

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      I'm more worried about the fact rejection on our side now, not theirs. This administration is empirically worse on civil rights than Bush. They are, even today, spinning this as not a jobless recovery. Financial reform was a complete hoax, derivatives, the vehicles that crashed the entire world economy, aren't even regulated if you just name them something else. These issues create real and serious long-term threats to our country and our democracy. But where are the Progressive voices forcing facts into OUR conversation? Truly, are we doing any better job forcing our side to be honest about Obama than Conservatives did with Bush? And that, is a moral crime.

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    Is it possible that the President is compromising with Republicans in the House & Senate BECAUSE Senate Dem's are doing little in the way of proposing counter policies/solutions?

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      It's possible, but if that was the case I imagine there would be a fire in the administration's belly to get some real proposal meat out there. They don't seem to be in any hurry with a jobs plan. 3 1/2 years in, you would expect to at least hear they were getting together a superstar team to craft a comprehensive solution. You'd expect a slate of reforms to the foreclosure plan that clearly isn't working. Instead, they are in media mode. The trade deals are a whole other example of Wall Street desires over jobs needs. So it's possible, but all clues lead in the other direction.

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