Howard Gleckman of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has done the math. As he points out, the only way to balance the budget by 2020, while simultaneously (a) making the Bush tax cuts permanent and (b) protecting all the programs Republicans say they won’t cut, is to completely abolish the rest of the federal government: “No more national parks, no more Small Business Administration loans, no more export subsidies, no more N.I.H. No more Medicaid (one-third of its budget pays for long-term care for our parents and others with disabilities). No more child health or child nutrition programs. No more highway construction. No more homeland security. Oh, and no more Congress.”Of course what is obviously really going on is that the Republicans are using the populist fiscal responsibility tune as a Trojan horse for handing money to the people who are funding their elections. It's basically a smoke-and-mirrors approach to looting the treasury and handing out gifties to their buddies. They don't really care about balancing the budget, they're just using that as a cover.
So what should we do about it? I don't know. It seems that the only time people are really ready for change is when the truth can no longer be denied. It's true for addiction, and I suspect it's true for governance and economic policy as well...
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