Sunday, November 10, 2013

Do Republicans really care about reducing the deficit? (Jonathan Chait)

As Jonathan Chait correctly points out:
The Republican Party has gone on so long waxing hysterical about the debt while refusing any compromise at all to reduce it — even a 10-to-1 ratio of spending cuts to taxes — that the hypocrisy no longer even registers. It's simply a fixed element in the political landscape.
His brief treatment of this subject would be difficult to improve upon, so I won't try. See below.

(And is there anyone out there who didn't catch the reference to Meatloaf?)

—Jeff Weintraub

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New York Magazine
November 8, 2013
House Republican: I Would Do Anything for Deficit Reduction, But I Won’t Do That
By Jonathan Chait

Doooom.

The Republican Party has gone on so long waxing hysterical about the debt while refusing any compromise at all to reduce it — even a 10-to-1 ratio of spending cuts to taxes — that the hypocrisy no longer even registers. It's simply a fixed element in the political landscape.

Thus, a news story like this one from the Wall Street Journal can report straightforwardly that Republican Rep. Doug Collins "believes Congress should do everything in its power to tackle deficits."

Really? Everything?

No, it turns out. Four sentences later, the story adds as an aside: "That said, he rejects any talk of offsetting the cuts with new tax revenue."

Oh, so Collins thinks Congress should do "everything in its power" to reduce the gap between revenue and outlay, except increase revenue. So, really, of the two things Congress has in its power to reduce the deficit, he wants to do one of them. And he's only willing to do that one thing as long is there is absolutely nothing done about the other thing.

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