Category Archives: deficit

A Tale Of Two Federal Budget Items

Wow, to hear House Republicans these days, the food stamp program called SNAP is rife with fraud and corruption, has grown too big and is adding to the budget deficit. It must die.

Meanwhile, the same people overwhelmingly supported a new defense bill which, while offering some good protections to victims of sexual assault, also was padded with lots of extra spending. Such as:

The bill also restricts the transfer of detainees from Guantánamo Bay, funds construction of a new East Coast missile defense site and gives the Pentagon $5 billion more than requested for the war in Afghanistan.

Well isn’t that peachy! Sequester, semeshter! Because we all know the Pentagon is never, ever corrupt, fraud never happens, and the Pentagon would never add to our budget deficit. Hey, empires are expensive, y’all! :


What a bunch of fiscal phonies. Guess they’re going to force Senate Democrats to vote against this, so they can run those lovely ads accusing such-and-such liberal of voting against helping sexual assault victims in the military. I can hear it now: “They accuse us of waging a war on women, but look what Senator McLefty CommieHippie did!”

Assholes. Two can play at that game. Look who took food out of the mouth of a hungry child so they can continue to fund wars and killing? And you call yourselves Christians? For shame.


Filed under budget, Congress, defense, deficit, food, Pentagon, Republican Party

“The Dog That Caught The Bus”


The hits just keep on coming:

LOS ANGELES — After years of grueling battles over state budget deficits and spending cuts, California has a new challenge on its hand: too much money. An unexpected surplus is fueling an argument over how the state should respond to its turn of good fortune.

The amount is a matter of debate, but by any measure significant: between $1.2 billion, projected by Gov. Jerry Brown, and $4.4 billion, the estimate of the Legislature’s independent financial analyst. The surplus comes barely three years after the state was facing a deficit of close to $60 billion.

Governor Moonbeam did what Ah-nuld was unable to do in two terms. Brown is a Democrat, but a fiscally responsible one. Which just goes to show: if you want to actually balance budgets, not harp and moan about them, elect Democrats.


Ruh-roh. Republicans have made budget deficit alarmism the main reason for their existence, but facts and math have thrown a wrench in their political plans:

Republicans who have made the deficit their central ideological focus are, in some sense, the dog that caught the bus. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated this month that the deficit for this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, will fall to about $642 billion, or 4 percent of the nation’s annual economic output, less than half the 2011 deficit and about $200 billion lower than the agency had estimated three months ago.

The agency forecast that the deficit, which topped 10 percent of the gross domestic product in 2009, could shrink to as little as 2.1 percent of the G.D.P. by 2015, a level most analysts say would be easily sustainable over the long run.

In fact, Republicans’ insistence on chasing the “exploding budget deficit” fairy tale has been problematic for their political strategizing:

House Republicans had envisioned a plan to reach a comprehensive deficit reduction deal predicated on a showdown in July over the debt ceiling. That showdown was supposed to drive both sides back to the bargaining table, but a rapidly falling deficit, rising tax payments and huge infusions of cash from the newly profitable, federally controlled home financing agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have scrambled those plans. Now, the debt ceiling may not have to be raised until October or November, in the next fiscal year.

Awwww…. Meanwhile, the Tea Party is digging its heels in, continuing to call for cuts and refusing to negotiate with the Senate on reconciling the two chambers’ differing budget proposals. This is all because the Republicans are in utter disarray. I’m not sure an image of a Republican Party unable to find its own ass with a map and a compass is how the GOP envisioned going into the 2014 midterms.


Filed under budget, deficit, Republican Party, Tea Party

First Draft Tuesday

The Paul Ryan budget, now with electrolytes!


Filed under budget, deficit

Remember When Paul Ryan Killed Bowles-Simpson?

I found this profile on Paul Ryan from April’s New York Magazine, and it’s definitely worth reading. Not surprisingly, we learn Ryan is just another fiscal phony, using popular Randian language to basically gut the social safety net and transfer wealth to the top. For example:

In 2005, when Bush campaigned to introduce private accounts into Social Security, Ryan fervently crusaded for the concept. He was the sponsor in the House of a bill to create new private accounts funded entirely by borrowing, with no benefit cuts. Ryan’s plan was so staggeringly profligate, entailing more than $2 trillion in new debt over the first decade alone, that even the Bush administration opposed it as “irresponsible.”

When Democrats took control of Congress in the 2006 elections, they reimposed a budget rule requiring that any new spending or tax cuts be offset by new revenue or spending cuts. Ryan opposed it, preferring to let new spending or tax cuts go on the national credit card. Instead, he continued to endorse Bush’s line that tax cuts were leading us to a glorious new era of prosperity and budget balance. “Higher revenues flowing into the Treasury, as a result of economic and job growth, have given us a real chance to balance the budget,” Ryan announced in 2007. “The president’s budget achieves the important goal of balancing the budget in the near term—without raising taxes,” he wrote in August 2008.

Woopsies. Looks like someone needs a new calculator.

That most Republicans are fiscal phonies is nothing new. Earlier this year I called out local fiscal hawk Tim Pagliara, who claimed “the American people are tired of hearing about birth control pills,” because what he really wanted was to discuss the budget deficit and get the Bowles-Simpson Plan passed. That what’s really important, he said — not women’s reproductive healthcare, but lowering the budget deficit. That’s why he gave $1,000 to Marsha Blackburn’s campaign, which she used to stage “religious freedom” rallies that were really attacks on the birth control insurance mandate. When he should have been donating to Rep. Jim Cooper, the Democrat, who has spent umpteen amount of hours trying to get Bowles-Simpson passed.

I’m sure Pagliara is doing double-back handsprings of delight over the Romney-Ryan ticket; that’s what the CEO of CapWealth Advisors should be doing, right? No way would he ever support the Socialist-anti-Colonialist Kenyan usurper. I wonder if he and others like him know that Paul Ryan is the one responsible for killing Bowles-Simpson? From New York Magazine’s profile:

Yet Ryan has not altered his opposition to green-eyeshade fiscal conservatism. In 2010, Ryan was a member of a bipartisan committee, chaired by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, to formulate a plan to reduce the deficit, but voted against it. (The plan included a tax increase.) Last year, another, informal bipartisan collection of senators released an agreement for a wide-ranging plan to reduce the deficit, combining lower spending with a tax-reform plan designed to increase revenue. It seemed to be gaining momentum quickly until Ryan attacked it, thus dropping what a Republican Senate aide called a “bomb” that blew apart Republican support for the plan.

In fact, with the possible exception of anti-tax activist/Bond villain Grover Norquist, nobody has done more in recent years to prevent the passage of a bipartisan debt agreement than Paul Ryan. And yet, incredibly, Ryan has managed to position himself as the nation’s foremost spokesman for the cause of bipartisan deficit reduction. Possibly his favorite accusation against Obama, one he repeats day after day, is that he failed to openly endorse the Bowles-Simpson plan. Thus Ryan regularly holds forth on this subject in a way that seems genuine and even admirable to his audiences but, to anybody who happens to recall his actual role in these events, utterly surreal.

Ah well. These folks really don’t want the reduce the deficit, we all know it. They just want to not pay taxes. It’s all “me, me, me” with this crowd. Hey, I give money to charity so that’s my version of paying taxes! Yeah, well, y’know there just aren’t enough of you people doing that, at a large enough level, and going in the right charities, to make up for all the misery and pain you’ve caused by trashing the social safety net.

The funniest (in a very very sad way, not a ha ha way) story I’ve heard is about the Tea Party guy who is bitching and moaning about having to spend down all of his mother’s assets so she can qualify for Medicaid and get the round-the-clock nursing care she needs. Dude, if you hadn’t been voting Republican all of these years, and rallying in your tea-bag adorned hat against healthcare reform, you wouldn’t have to do that.

Stupid people.


Filed under 2012 presidential election, deficit

Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before

Q: What’s the difference between a single mother on welfare and the F-35 fighter jet?
A: The welfare mom actually works:

August 5, 2011 (by Lieven Dewitte) – For the third time in less than a year, the Pentagon has grounded all F-35 joint strike fighters because of a mechanical problem. The F-35s thus join the F-22 Raptors in stand down mode.

All flight and ground operations for the Joint Strike Fighter were ceased after the integrated power package (IPP) on a U.S. Air Force variant test aircraft failed on August 2nd during a ground maintenance run at Edwards Air Force Base.

The 20 operational test and training aircraft were parked and will stay that way until engineers and technicians can find why a power system that starts and cools the aircraft failed during an engine ground test Tuesday at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Flight and ground tests could potentially be suspended for a few weeks.

Heh. No wonder they call the F-35 the jet that ate the Pentagon. From last May:

The Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and many foreign partners plan to buy thousands of the fighter-attack jets over the next two decades to replace a variety of aging aircraft, but the development schedule of the stealthy fighter has slipped five years to 2018 and the projected cost to the Pentagon for 2,457 aircraft has ballooned to $385 billion, making it by far the most expensive weapons program in history.

The Government Accountability Office reported that although Pentagon management of the program is improving, developers have only completely verified 4 percent of the F-35’s capabilities. The program received another blow this week when the Senate Armed Services Committee learned that the Pentagon will likely have to spend $1 trillion over the next 50 years to operate and maintain the fleet of F-35s. Evidently reeling from sticker shock, Sen. John McCain demanded that “we at least begin considering alternatives.” But is it too late to prevent the F-35 program from devouring the Pentagon’s future procurement budgets?

That’s a rhetorical question, right? There’s always money for war, you idiots!

After the painful debt ceiling political theater we just endured, though, this is a hard pill to swallow. I just can’t believe we’re cutting programs vital to people’s health and welfare while sinking hundreds of billions of dollars into the bottomless pit that is the Pentagon. And yes, this truly is a black hole:

Air Force officials themselves may now doubt the wisdom of the size of the commitment to the F-35. According to a recent Aviation Week story, Air Force Undersecretary Erin Conaton placed new emphasis on the importance of the Air Force’s next-generation long-range bomber. With procurement funds sure to be tight in the decade ahead, Conaton hinted that the Air Force may have to raid the F-35’s future budgets in order to help pay for the new bomber.

Ah well, nothing to see here, let’s move along to the next trillion dollar bomber program! Bygones!

You know what’s funny? President Obama has already pledged to cut $400 billion from defense, while Leon Panetta has said anything over $350 billion would be tragic. So I guess that means we’ve agreed on $385 billion, the cost of this one failing program, hmm? You wanna bet?


Filed under budget, defense, deficit, Pentagon

What Have We Learned?

The markets are in a free-fall as Congress’ failure to come to an agreement on the debt ceiling begins to have real-life repercussions. Namely, that’s my retirement savings swirling the drain, and frankly I’m pissed off. On the positive side: who thinks putting Social Security in the stock market is a good idea now?

So what have we learned?

• It’s a brave new world, and most people are in complete denial. I can’t tell you how many people I speak to who assume the debt ceiling crisis will be resolved … any second now! Honest! They’ve been telling me this for weeks. Months, in fact. My financial adviser who oversees my ever-dwindling retirement account told me just last week that he was convinced a deal was already in place and we were just seeing some political face-saving. “The Tea Party only represents 19% of the population,” he told me. Yes, but unfortunately they’re more than 50% of the House of Representatives, and that’s all that matters.

• We’ve learned that anyone who thinks they can negotiate with Republicans as if they were reasonable, sane people is smoking something. These are not reasonable people. They are zealots. And we all know how zealots operate. They’d rather burn down the country than give an inch. This is insanity, but pretty much everyone to the left of President Obama saw it coming. Of course, no one listens to us.

• We’ve learned that you can never, ever trust the Republican Party near the U.S. economy again. Ever. As my neighbor said as I was walking the dog this morning: “The Republicans are trying to take down the president, and they don’t care if they take down the entire country to do it.” This is what Real America™ is saying, folks: no one buys Boehner’s “blank check” line, and yes, we blame Republicans.

• Old pieces of conventional wisdom — for example, that “divided government” is best — no longer apply. I already covered that earlier this month but when you’re dealing with zealots, what you get is gridlock and dysfunction. That might go unnoticed on most things — who really notices that there’s a backlog of federal judges awaiting confirmation unless you work in that world? — but when dealing with a housekeeping issue like the debt ceiling, we can all see it and feel it in our pocketbooks.

• Blue Dogs still don’t make any sense. Last week Rep. Jim Cooper, my congressman, was one of only five Democrats to vote for the “Cut, Cap & Balance” bill. Yet he responded to my e-mail about this issue by saying while we need to secure the nation’s fiscal future, he’s not for “crazy cuts.” He wrote:

I believe that Congress needs to tighten its belt, restore fiscal discipline, and develop a strategy that offers common-sense solutions to restore our long-term fiscal health. I’m for cuts, but not crazy cuts that indiscriminately slash services our students, veterans, and seniors rely on, as well as job-promoting programs that are helping Middle Tennesseans get back to work.

Well, “Cut, Cap & Balance” would have to be full of crazy cuts to make it work. Personally, I think Cooper is panicking, and can you blame him? He wants a deal — any deal, Christ almighty let’s get this over with, pass anything, we can fix it later. He does have one good idea: if the nation goes into default, he proposes stopping pay for all members of Congress, nor would they be allowed to recoup their lost pay later. This is all very well and good but I don’t know how many members of Congress are in it for the money. It’s a symbolic gesture, the kind of stuff Cooper usually eschews, but at least it’s something.

• The American people are absolutely powerless to do anything about this dire situation, save come up with some creative Twitter hashtags. Have you tried calling your Congress Critter? Good luck. The lines have been busy for two days. I’m glad I called last week — for all the good it will do.

So yes, #FuckYouWashington. I’ve never seen anything like this in my entire life, not during the Nixon years, not during Watergate, not during the Iran-Contra scandals and AbScam and the Iranian hostage crisis, no not even during the awful uncertainty around the 2000 election. Some people need to be fired, namely Republican assholes who refuse to listen to reason. And, you know, Harry Reid who thought he was dealing with the Republican Party of 2004. When what he’s dealing with is a GOP who wants, first and foremost, for Obama to fail: nothing more, and nothing less.


Via Slate’s Dave Weigel, scenes from the Tea Party’s “Hold The Line” rally, which drew … dozens! Dozens I tell you! … of reporters. People? Not so much. That’s Louie Gohmert speaking to the cameras and pretty much no one else, guess everyone else left to hit the all-you-can-eat buffet at Applebee’s. As usual, click on the photo to enlarge.

I simply can’t believe our entire national economy has been taken hostage by this pathetic excuse for a “movement.”


Filed under budget, deficit

Americans Live Within Their Means & Other Wingnut Fantasies

Of all the tired, old bromides which have worked their way into our discourse, the old “American families have to live within a budget, and so should the federal government” meme is one of the most annoying. It’s annoying because it’s so easily debunked; the very people spouting this bullshit are the ones riding mountains of credit card debt, for crying out loud!

I’ve written about this before but my first response is always: No! No we don’t! Since when? American consumer debt, which doesn’t include mortgages, is $2.43 trillion as of March 2011. Total U.S. revolving debt, which is almost entirely credit card debt, was $796.1 billion, as of March 2011. In fact, in March U.S. credit card debt increased for the second time since 2008, which the Wall Street Journal presented as a good thing:

U.S. consumers in March increased their credit-card debt for the second time since the financial crisis flared, giving a sign of hope that consumer spending could boost an economic recovery that has lost some steam.

In its monthly report Friday on borrowing, the Federal Reserve also said overall consumer credit outstanding rose, up $6.02 billion to $2.426 trillion. The increase, the sixth in a row, was bigger than expected. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a $4.8-billion rise in consumer debt during March.

I’m not going to say whether this is bad or good, I’m just saying it completely debunks the ol’ “American families have to live within their means and so should the government” meme. No, we don’t! We never have! We have always been a country of consumers who satisfy their every need and whim with the swipe of plastic. We have well over a million people who declare bankruptcy every year. And our economy depends on this debt! Imagine if Americans did live within their means, paying cash as they go, never borrowing. Our entire economy would implode!

It just annoys me that no one ever calls the pundits and politicians on this shit when it’s so obviously wrong. So thank goodness Jared Bernstein writes about it on his new blog. Bernstein was Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden and a member of President Obama’s economic team before leaving the White House to become a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

He writes:

But there’s another fundamental way in which this family budget analogy gets misused.  Families borrow to make investments and to get over rough patches.  They run deficits too.  I went into pretty deep debt to finance college and grad school and I’m glad I did.

The whole credit system is based on the fact that if we had to pay cash-as-we-go for everything, we’d seriously underinvest.  And that’s true for families and governments—and yes, you can overdo the borrowing thing.  But to flip too far the other way is equally dangerous.

So, while it sounds good and has some merit, I’d use the “gov’t budget=family budget” argument with care and I’d discount those who want to use it as a hammer to insist on instant cuts.

American families borrow money to buy houses and cars and invest in their businesses. They run up credit card debt and take out loans to pay for college. Families default on their loans all the time. We don’t live within our means any more than anyone else does. So can we please retire this stupid analogy once and for all? I mean it’s ridiculous, I hear people repeating it whom I know to have declared personal bankruptcy or have had their cars repo’d. It’s like people don’t even engage their brains before opening their mouths to repeat these tired old pieces of supposed conventional wisdom. Have they all been brainwashed?


Filed under budget, deficit

>Stupid? Corrupt? Or Immoral?

>That’s really the only thing I have to say in regards to this story. Yes, John Boehner took time away from perfecting his golf game this weekend to come to Nashville and lecture the National Religious Broadcasters on the morality of the national debt.

I really don’t think I need to be lectured on financial management by someone who put this nation into debt in the first place. And I really don’t want to be lectured on morality by someone who has voted for poverty, war, death, torture, fear, and destruction of the earth, air and seas at every opportunity.

Nor do I need to be lectured on morality by someone who seems to think the national budget should be balanced on the backs of middle class and low-income working people, while maintaining the wealthiest people in this country should be allowed to feast at the nation’s banquet table without paying a dime. Just three months ago he was shedding tears about the need to extend Bush-era tax cuts for America’s millionaires; now he’s telling us the nation is broke? Gee, I wonder how that happened.

No, my question is why the National Religious Broadcasters wants to be lectured on morality by someone like John Boehner? What does this say about you folks? It says quite a lot, really. These are folks who sorely need to have their false gospel challenged by someone like Jim Wallis, the evangelical leader and social justice crusader who had this to say about the GOPs budget priorities:

U.S. military spending is now 56 percent of the world’s military expenditures and is more than the military budgets of the next 20 countries in the world combined. To believe all that money is necessary for genuine American security is simply no longer credible. To say it is more important than bed nets that prevent malaria, vaccines that prevent deadly diseases, or child health and family nutrition for low-income families is simply immoral. Again, these are ideological choices, not smart fiscal ones. To prioritize endless military spending over critical, life-saving programs for the poor is to reverse the biblical instruction to beat our swords into plowshares. The proposed budget cuts would beat plowshares into more swords. These priorities are not only immoral, they are unbiblical.

This is a message that the membership of the National Religious Broadcasters needs to hear — these people who operate Christian radio and television stations all around the country, the people pretending to serve families across the public airwaves (here’s a fun exercise: Google “safe for the whole family” and see what you get.)

But they don’t want to hear that message. Why should they? It’s so much easier to stay in their happy place. Theirs is a smug, self-satisfied faith which sees worldly prosperity not as evil but as a reward from heaven. This allows them to give a “Faith And Freedom Award” to Rep. Mike Pence, who just denied poor women access to pap smears, breast exams, STD testing, cancer treatment and the like. How’s that for today’s Christians, eh? No, National Religious Broadcasters, you need to stay in your comfort zone, where Jesus showers his love upon the righteous — you know, the wealthy white people driving around in fancy cars. Let’s not worry our pretty little heads about the folks who have been struggling thanks to the policies of political leaders you support. That might be icky.

Carry on, NRB.


Filed under deficit, economy, John Boehner, religious right

>Budgets Are Moral Documents

>Yes we hear that all the time. But what does it mean? It means, it’s the true reflection of your priorities. You can talk a good game all you want, but the proof is in the budget. How you spend your money speaks volumes about your character. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

So I wonder what it says about the Republicans and their new-found austerity that they are refusing to cut taxpayer funds to NASCAR? Minnesota Democrat Betty McCollum proposed axing the $7 million the Defense Department spends on sponsoring a car, as well as the $45 million tax earmark that was part of the newly-extended Bush tax cuts. Her bill did not pass.

For the record, most reports I’ve read omitted the tax earmark info, and only mentioned the $7 million in actual car sponsorship. Turns out it’s actually more like $52 million that taxpayers spend on NASCAR. That’s still insignificant when compared to our budget and the budget deficit, but the GOP’s default position has been “we all have to make sacrifices” and, “you have to start somewhere,” yada yada. So rather than quibble over an approach which Gail Collins rightly likened to “planning to lose 50 pounds by reducing your intake of kale,” let’s concede that point, just for the sake of argument.

Let’s just look at some programs the Republicans have cut from the budget so we can give taxpayer money to NASCAR:

• Maternal & Child Health Block Grant — $50 million
• High School Graduation Initiative — $50 million
• Child Care Development Block Grant – $39 million
• Green Jobs Innovation Fund — $40 million

None of this even compares to the billions of dollars in worthy programs the GOP has on the chopping block — Pell Grants, home heating assistance, Head Start, help for the elderly, environmental protection, food safety, etc. Or, for that matter, the money for war and tax breaks for insanely profitable oil companies the Republicans have kept. We all know the Republicans are being penny wise and pound foolish with these budget proposals. That’s not what this post is about.

This post is about looking at one thing, and seeing it as a window on the Republican soul. Money for NASCAR, but not to retrain workers for green jobs. Money for NASCAR but not prenatal care for poor pregnant women. $50 million for NASCAR but not to improve graduation rates at our schools.

Republicans are the ones who said this about cutting funds for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting:

“We’ve got to keep our priorities straight,” said Representative Ralph Regula, an Ohio Republican who is chairman of the appropriations panel that approved the cut. “You’re going to choose between giving a little more money to handicapped children versus providing appropriations for public broadcasting.”

And this about the cuts in general:

Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a statement:

Lawmakers “have weeded out excessive, unnecessary, and wasteful spending, making tough choices to prioritize programs based on their effectiveness and benefit to the American people. My committee has taken a thoughtful look at each and every one of the programs we intend to cut, and have made determinations based on this careful analysis.”

I’m going to call bullshit on your sanctimonious ass and tell you that quite a few of the programs you’re cutting are waaaay more beneficial to the American people than NASCAR. So no I don’t need a lecture on priorities from a group of people whose only priority is rewarding their political friends.

Oh, and as to the argument that NASCAR sponsorship is a military recruiting tool, the New York Times had this to say today

the Navy and the Marines Corps have pulled out of the Nascar sponsorship business — precisely because they could not gauge the effectiveness of their campaigns on recruiting.

It’s almost funny to me that Republicans want to spend money on NASCAR, which is a dying sport. But it’s their dying sport, and by God they’re going to hang onto it with all they’ve got. Democrats want to spend money on prenatal care for poor pregnant women, job training, education, and the like. Republicans want to throw money at a dying sport which is the last refuge of their aging, dying base. That’s worse than sad, it’s pathetic.

So, these are the fiscal phonies you voted for, America (or rather, didn’t vote for when you were too busy or disillusioned or not-paying-enough-attention or whatever the fuck reason you gave for not showing up to vote last November, which is how these idiots took charge of the House to begin with. Republicans didn’t win, Democrats gave it away. But I digress.)

And here we have a perfect example of what is meant when people say budgets are moral documents. This is, indeed, a clear window onto the Republican soul. These are their priorities. This money isn’t coming back when we’re flush again: it’s gone for good. This is the Republican Agenda, in black and white: cut aid to poor women and children, cut education and healthcare, cut consumer protections. Keep our fanboy projects and our wars and giveaways to outrageously wealthy corporations.

Budgets are moral documents. This one says it all.


Filed under budget, deficit, NASCAR

>Memory Hole: Deficit Edition

>While some lefty bloggers have noticed similarities between our punditry’s embrace of the Iraq invasion and the media’s current blind belief in right-wing “ZOMG the deficit is gonna kill us allll!” messaging, I’m taking a far less nuanced approach.

As the 2012 budget forces us all to go ‘round the hamster wheel for another insufferable bullshit national debate, I’d like to remind people of one thing: deficits don’t matter.

That wasn’t just Dick Cheney’s wishful thinking when trying to shove tax cuts for the uber-wealthy down our throats in the middle of wartime, that was a Weekly Standard column by none other than the august Irwin Seltzer, of the conservative Hudson Institute (Hudson is one of those places that preaches the glories of the free market and individual responsibility):

Which brings us to the economic level. The deficits that Bush ran up in the years in which the country was teetering on the verge of a serious recession had the beneficial effect of righting the economy. In that sense, deficits not only didn’t matter, but were a force for economic good.

Yes, kids, once upon a time conservative thinkers actually believed that deficits not only didn’t matter, but that they were a “force for economic good.” Go on and read his column: his whole argument is that operating a deficit to right an economy in the recessionary doldrums is not just good, but essential (cue maniacal Dr. Strangelove grin).

Call me a cynic, but I have a feeling deficits really only matter based on which political party is having fun with the Chinese credit card. Maybe it’s just me. But I can’t help but laugh at the Republican hypocrites now calling for the fainting couches because Democrats–gasp!want to cut the Pentagon’s NASCAR sponsorship! This just proves what haters they are!

It is also a clear indication that Democrats think that the NASCAR voting bloc is not voting with them now or anytime in the future.

Yeah, I think when you start going down that road, you’ve conceded the argument. I mean gosh, it’s not like PBS viewers are staunch Republicans, right? Isn’t that what you’re saying? That Obama’s budget cuts are politically motivated? Thanks for playing.

We so easily forget our country’s history of just two months ago, when tax cuts for the wealthy were extended, let alone eight years ago, when the Bush Administration enacted the country’s first-ever tax cuts during wartime. For over 200 years we had paid for our wars, but Bush took the unprecedented approach that war could be paid for by future generations. Let that one sink in.

Conservatives cheered both moves, talking about how these things would stimulate the economy and ignoring all evidence to the contrary. Our media for the most part has acted blithely unaware of the hypocrisy at play beneath their noses. And what this should tell everyone, including our glorious media lapdogs who eat up every nugget of Republican messaging like it’s filet mignon, is that these people are dishonest brokers. They really don’t give a shit about the national deficit, they just want their failed policies of tax cuts and deregulation and they will lie to anyone to see that this happens.

So please get a clue, already. Next time some Republican Congresscritter like John Boehner gets all teary-eyed about how the deficit is ruining this country, please ask them why they cheered the deficit six, seven, eight years ago. Please hold them to account. You just can’t keep letting one political party hit the reset button as soon as they come into power, while still holding the Democrats to account for shit that happened 40 years ago.

In the meantime, another blogger points out that our budge debate should really be a healthcare debate, because that is where the money goes.

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Filed under budget, conservatives, deficit