Sunday, March 22, 2015

Today's Sunday read- Krugman on GOP fiscal "fraudsters"

Required reading this weekend from the New York Times' Paul Krugman on the absurdity of the recently-released budgets by the House and Senate GOP. Here are just a few samples.
So, about those budgets: both claim drastic reductions in federal spending. Some of those spending reductions are specified: There would be savage cuts in food stamps, similarly savage cuts in Medicaid over and above reversing the recent expansion, and an end to Obamacare’s health insurance subsidies. Rough estimates suggest that either plan would roughly double the number of Americans without health insurance. But both also claim more than a trillion dollars in further cuts to mandatory spending, which would almost surely have to come out of Medicare or Social Security. What form would these further cuts take? We get no hint.

Meanwhile, both budgets call for repeal of the Affordable Care Act, including the taxes that pay for the insurance subsidies. That’s $1 trillion of revenue. Yet both claim to have no effect on tax receipts; somehow, the federal government is supposed to make up for the lost Obamacare revenue. How, exactly? We are, again, given no hint.

And there’s more: The budgets also claim large reductions in spending on other programs. How would these be achieved? You know the answer.
It'll be done by magic, I tell you! Actually, Krugman knows the real answer, as do you- it'll run up the deficit and country's debt to the point that massive cuts in Medicare/Social Security, infrastructure, and regulatory agencies like the EPA and IRS will "have" to happen, making it easier for GOP donators to get what they want. It's classic "starve the beast" cynicism, without having to admit that's what you're doing to the public.

And Krugman wisely says that these moves go past the magical thinking of the Laugher Laffer curve which thinks that tax cuts will somehow raise revenue and "pay for themselves" (we've seen how BS that is here in Wisconsin, as the revenue shortfalls and low wage growth continue to pile up). Instead, Krugman says it's a way to move income and wealth away from the majority of us, and send those gains to the "inner circle" who donate to GOP politicians and run the party.
But I’m partial to a more cynical explanation. Think about what these budgets would do if you ignore the mysterious trillions in unspecified spending cuts and revenue enhancements. What you’re left with is huge transfers of income from the poor and the working class, who would see severe benefit cuts, to the rich, who would see big tax cuts. And the simplest way to understand these budgets is surely to suppose that they are intended to do what they would, in fact, actually do: make the rich richer and ordinary families poorer.

But this is, of course, not a policy direction the public would support if it were clearly explained. So the budgets must be sold as courageous efforts to eliminate deficits and pay down debt — which means that they must include trillions in imaginary, unexplained savings.

Does this mean that all those politicians declaiming about the evils of budget deficits and their determination to end the scourge of debt were never sincere? Yes, it does.

Look, I know that it’s hard to keep up the outrage after so many years of fiscal fraudulence. But please try. We’re looking at an enormous, destructive con job, and you should be very, very angry.
Yes, you should be angry. The fruits of your work ethic are being stolen, but it isn't the poor minorities that are being the takers. We know the corporate media won't say these facts, but maybe some more Dems should do so, and start the fire from below.

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