Thursday, January 6, 2011

Republicans and Deficits

It would be funny if it wasn't so cynically dishonest.

Republicans have been complaining about the deficit and the debt since at least Reagan's campaign against Jimmy Carter in 1980. Yet since WWI, the Deficit has consistently been higher under Republican presidents than under Democratic Presidents. Let us not forget that President Obama inherited a $1.2T deficit in the FY2009 budget from President Bush who inherited a budget surplus from President Clinton.

When the Democratic took over in 2009 they passed a bill often called PayGo which required that any new programs that they wanted to pass, had to have funding mechanisms so that the new programs wouldn't increase the deficit and the debt. As a result the Health Care Reform bill had taxes and fees and moved some medicare money around to finance the bill and the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill would actually LOWER the slightly over the next 10 years. The new Food Safety overhaul bill had to get voted on twice because the funding mechanisms for that bill has originated in the Senate so it had to be reintroduced in the House to be constitutional. Not a lot of costs in that one, but the Democratic Controlled congress paid for the new programs.
Same for the 9-11 Responders Health Care bill. They closed a loophole in corporate taxes to pay for it.
Cap and Trade was designed to be self financing.

So the first bill that the House intends to vote on is their repeal, in its entirety, of the Health Care Reform bill. The CBO estimates that repealing the bill will COST the federal government $230B over 10 years. The Republicans, who whine and complain constantly about the deficit and the debt, want to add $230B to the National Debt. The have no intention of making any attempt to pay the cost of their proposal.

And it gets worse.

They want to replace PayGo with something they call CutGo. Its like PayGo except that it demands that any new spending be matched by spending cuts elsewhere. It doesn't allow using tax or fee increases to fund new spending. But the really stupid part is that they insist that ANY TAX CUTS DON'T HAVE TO BE PAID FOR!

They repeat the same idiocy that tax cuts stimulate the economy and that they pay for themselves over time. The first is barely true, the second is a complete LIE. Tax cuts are the single worst way to stimulate the economy. Its been tried and it hasn't worked. Study after study comes to the same conclusion. 1 dollar in tax cuts adds about $1.06 in additional economic activity. 1 dollar in direct spending (like infrastructure projects and unemployment benefits) add more than $1.50 in additional economic activity.

What do tax cuts really do.

THEY ADD TO THE DEFICIT. Look at the history. Reagan cut taxes, the deficit exploded. BushII cut taxes, the deficit went to new heights.

One of the bills passed in the lame duck congress was a compromise bill on extending the Bush tax cuts and extending employment benefits for the long term unemployed. Republicans insisted that the bill extend the tax cuts for the richest 2% of Americans, at a cost of almost $1T over 10 years and made not attempt to pay for it.

Every time they take an important action the Republicans demonstrate over and over again that they only want to complain about the deficit, not really do anything about it.

And other than the new Teabaggers, most of these people are not studid, they know they are lying and they just don't care.

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