The new budget agreement crafted by Congress is projected to raise budget deficits by $150 billion annually over the next two years, an increase of a bit more than 0.7 percent of GDP. This follows the passage of the tax cuts, which are projected to increase the deficit by an average of more than 1 percent of GDP over the next five years.
This should settle one point beyond any dispute. Republicans do not give a damn about budget deficits. All the sanctimonious whining we heard when President Obama was trying to push his stimulus package as the economy was collapsing back in 2009, and when it was still languishing in 2011 as the Republicans regained control of Congress and demanded austerity, was crap.
The Republicans were trying to obstruct anything Obama proposed. There was no principle at play here, it was just a story where if Obama was for it, they were against it. The consequences for the economy — millions of people needlessly being unemployed, losing their homes, children going homeless — those didn’t matter. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell’s agenda is winning at politics, not being do-gooders for the country.
Most of us recognize politicians as being politically motivated, except of course for the people who get paid to tell us what they are doing. We heard and read endless pieces on National Public Radio, the New York Times and other mainstream news outlets telling us how Republicans believe in balanced budgets, that they were concerned about debts and deficits, etc.
Don’t tell us politicians’ beliefs and concerns; just tell us what they say and do, full stop.
OK, but beyond Republicans being incredible liars and hypocrites, the big jump in the deficit will allow for …read more