It is no secret that the GOP has tried to brand itself as the party of fiscal responsibility. If there is one thing that nobody can question about the Republican Party, it is platform consistency: Lower taxes, less regulation, get the government out of our lives, and into our respective bedrooms and uteruses where they can wage another unfunded war against the evil forces of Satan who would cause us to want equal rights for same-sex couples or birth control.
Paul Ryan’s budget plan calls for the government to come to a balanced budget in 10 years. Of course, this is predicated on repealing Obamacare, tax reform efforts that essentially rely on cuts for the rich that would cost middle-class families thousands more per year, and of course, new taxes on Unicorn emissions. In simple terms: It’s a pipe-dream.
We’ve all heard the talking points: America is in a debt crisis. The deficit has DOUBLED under Obama. We must act NOW. The only problem is that precisely NONE of that is true.
Earlier today, Speaker of the House John Boehner admitted that there really is no debt crisis. Also imaginary: Republicans putting forth anything resembling a jobs plan.
Here’s the problem for the GOP and that dirty “C-Word” that they dare not speak: There is no incentive for Republicans to compromise on the budget. The GOP wants to slash Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. These programs are extremely popular, and most Americans do not agree with cutting these programs. Why would any Republican essentially come out and say, “Hey, we want to raise taxes and cut Medicare” to their constituents? This is why many Republicans refuse to answer a direct question about what ratio of tax revenue they would accept in relation to spending cuts. On NBC’s “Meet the Press” House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy said “The president has a different belief than we do. He believes deficits don’t matter. We do.”
Putting aside the obvious questions about how much they mattered when trillions of dollars of debt were racked up during the Bush administration, Rep. McCarthy seems to have lost sight of the fact (Damn those FACTS!) that the projected 2013 deficit is around 845 billion dollars. When Obama took office, that deficit was around 1.4 trillion dollars. Maybe he doesn’t understand the difference between the debt and the deficit?
What we all need to do is approach this like any inquisitive five year old would. Republicans say that the long-term debt is a massive problem.
We need a balanced budget to help the economy recover.
Seriously – Why is this important? Through most of American history, the Federal government has operated with some level of debt. Is our current debt affecting interest rates? Job growth? Corporate profits? The stock market? How often in the past 60 years have we had a balanced budget? Is austerity for the sake of a balanced budget the best way to stimulate the recovery? Is inflation out of control? Are they aware that England is a country, and there is actual research on these policies that they could study?
Challenge your fiscally conservative friends. Not to be condescending, but talk to them like you were a five year old. There is a very good chance you’ll be on intellectual common ground.
–Sean Kemmerer is a freelance writer, administrator of Politics Without The Crazy Pills , and does not think it’s shallow at all to break up with a girl because she hasn’t seen “The Godfather”.