Bruce Bartlett describes what the cheap, “MORE tax cuts now, unspecified minor spending cuts later!” Pledge to America GOP “plan” illustrates:
Today, Republicans believe that deficits are nothing more than something to ignore when they are in power and to bludgeon Democrats with when they are out of power.
It’s important to remember that the deficit was just something the Republicans latched onto the second they were facing the prospect of being out of power. When they lost the elections of 2006 and 2008, they were at the tail end of six years of nearly uninterrupted Republican rule and the verdict was in. They had nothing. No plan for the future, no explanations for their failures, just anger. Whatever they could harness that anger to was good enough. George W. left behind a $1.3 projected deficit? Blame it on Obama, return to blathering about budget-busting tax cuts and vague spending cuts. The Republicans added the Tea Party moniker to rebrand, promised that they really meant it this time, and proceeded to bash Obama for two years without regard for the facts. Now their biggest priority is scaring the Democrats into passing along $3 trillion in tax cuts by declaring total war to win an extra $700 billion for the country’s wealthiest citizens. They were all about the deficit, until they got that tax cut candy waved in front of their nose.
If the next six years actually saw Democratic rule by a party that wasn’t constantly terrified of what people like Glenn Beck say, we’d be on the way back to fiscal recovery. As it is, even if Democrats survive this election relatively intact, they’ll only be more scared. I mean, if you can’t have a victory like 2008 and work up your courage, a close call is going to make you braver?
This country may be entering some kind of paradigm where the party out of power always has the drive, because things are constantly turning into shit. Of course, we’re still dealing with the fallout from GOP rule, but capitalism, the climate, and our resources have combined forces to launch the U.S. on a downward trajectory that we won’t soon escape. If Democrats in power can’t face that fundamental fact and fight for their solutions, then they’re going to get bounced in favor of Republican magical thinking. See, Republicans don’t have any solutions, but they don’t care. They’re just worried about winning elections, so they get their soundbite and go full steam.
The Democrats are in fact the only ones who can be trusted on the deficit, historically and presently. Every one of them can take the deficit issue and shove it right up Republican arses this Fall. We’ll see how many do.