The Republican Agenda
[From Center on Budget and Policy Priorities]
Republicans have spent years complaining about the deficit when not in power and increasing it when in power. In power? Start wars. (Iraq, say.) Build the defense budget. Cut taxes. Ignore the deficit. Out of power? Argue for more wars. (Iran, say.) Protect the defense budget. Cut taxes. Decry the deficit. Scream about the need to reduce social programs.
That’s not news. More interesting is the Democratic response. Agree that the deficit is untenable. Cut social programs. Social security is solvent until 2038? Better raise the age for eligibility now. People are living longer and can retire later. What, poor people aren’t living longer? Oh well. Tough luck.
But don’t listen to me. Here are three people who know more than I do, all of whom wrote about the subject today.
It still comes as something of a shock to realize that at this point reasonable projections do not, repeat do not, show anything resembling the runaway deficit crisis that is a staple of almost everything you hear, including supposedly objective news reporting.
So you heard it here first: while you weren’t looking, and the deficit scolds were doing their scolding, the deficit problem (such as it was) was being mostly solved.
2. Charles Pierce of Esquire wrote:
The agitation over the “crisis” in the national debt is purely and simply an effort on yet another front to keep rich people as rich as possible, to maintain corporate influence and corporate control over the American economy, and to freeze in place any attempt to ameliorate the effects of those influences on the rest of the country. It would be nice if the president would notice this, too.
3. Finally, and succinctly, Atrios:
It’s good to regularly point out that the deficit scolds don’t care about the deficit. They care about tax cuts for rich people, stealing from Social Security, and kicking the poors and the olds, all while taxing poor and middle class people enough to keep the defense industry rich.
In other words, the Republican agenda.
And by the way, Chuck Hagel can’t be Secretary of Defense. He’s anti-Israel. Anti-semitic. He’ll cut the defense budget.
Lower taxes. Balanced budget. War with Iran. There’s a flaw in this somewhere.