Analysis of media issues, politics and current events.
We’re spending too much. This is true, undeniable and has to be fixed. Probably painfully. But, if you look past the often unquestioned proclamations of “I have a plan,” not a single presented GOP proposal to avoid the fiscal cliff or the Ryan Plan inspired GOP budget produces a plan to cut spending to balance the budget. Party leaders simply propose to reallocate the government spending mix. Rearrangement by keeping some wastes of money and cutting the funding of “wastes of money” programs the GOP never liked in the first place–flogging government and the public to comply under whipping up irrational hysteria of shock austerity.
For the last three years, Republicans have been a party that claims to have a Spartan-like-fervor about cutting spending, claiming a take-no-prisoners attitude to create fiscal sanity. Yet it willfully ignores taking obvious prisoners. Particularly it’s own favorite programs: the hugely bloated defense budget, which doubled over the last 10 years or raising tax rates of high earners. Yes, we need money for defense, but ignoring this bloated source to square up your budget altogether is bit like saying that you really need money to pay your bills, but it’s silly to suggest you sell that $1,000,000 car you bought because you need something to get to work.
That already should tell you something doesn’t smell right about GOP budget cutting zeal.
If right-sized government spending is the laser-like focus of the GOP, going over the fiscal cliff and staying should be welcomed. Think about it. If we go over the cliff, the government gets new revenue with tax rates going up for everyone and the government lowers its spending by slashing programs. For balancing government spending, it’s the equivalent of getting a pay raise and cutting household bills at the same time. A multiplier effect for deficit reduction. Most economists say such a rapid evaporation of liquidity in the economy that would be economically disastrous. To that, deficit hawks, who claim that we can’t think about anything but cutting, the ideologically consistent answer to those economists should be, “So?”
For a party that is currently ignoring critical farm bills or disaster relief for the Sandy Hook victims claiming that fiscal balance is the ultimate priority over people suffering in real-time, why in the world would the threat of putting the country back into recession give a group pause?
Letting and keeping the fiscal cliff in place would be the optimal course to meet their stated goals. Yet most don’t want the fiscal cliff? Why?
Those that know the deficit cries are a political theatre are sane enough to know what pulling that much money out of the economy that quickly would do.
Though some use the mantra, “government doesn’t create jobs,” these same people seem to believe that when that part of government is (and only) the military, it does. So ironically they want to keep that “job-creating” part of the entity that they swear doesn’t create jobs, creating jobs.
Though Republicans quoted Rahm Emanuel’s statement about taking advantage of a crisis to push health care reform without rage, the GOP also seem to be firm believers of the philosophy. The fiscal crisis is the best opportunity to extract cuts to programs linked to the New Deal and Great Society under the excuse “gee, we’d like to keep them, but we have no choice.”
This effort by the GOP is not about fiscal austerity and government balance. It’s about capitalizing on the chance to re-prioritize government. A government that says that saving a person’s home in times of crisis is not within the grasp of government, but saving a tax cut and resources for wealthy people is.