Monday, July 20, 2009

Fiscal Hypocrisy Goes Way Back

Steve Benen is right:

Yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell addressed the costs of health care reform. "If you're going to do something as comprehensive as the president wants to do," the Kentucky Republican said, "you ought to pay for it." ... When Bush/Cheney slashed taxes by well over $1 trillion, Republicans said there was no reason to worry about paying for it. When Bush/Cheney started the war in Afghanistan, Republicans said there was no reason to worry about paying for it. When Bush/Cheney started the war in Iraq, Republicans said there was no reason to worry about paying for it. When Bush/Cheney added Medicare Part D, Republicans said there was no reason to worry about paying for it. It's not that their efforts at paying for it came up short, it's that they didn't even try. The notion of fiscal responsibility was simply deemed irrelevant -- an inconvenient detail for unnamed people in the future to worry about. And now, these exact same policymakers are, with a straight face, complaining bitterly about the fiscal habits of Democrats who are -- in case anyone's forgotten -- actually trying to pay for much-needed health care reform.

Steve adds that there are some centrist Democrats guilty of the same hypocrisy. Let me just add that Republican fiscal hypocrisy dates back to the 1981 tax cut paid for of course by increases in defense spending under President Reagan.

9 comments:

Bruce Webb said...

Well the other shoe is about to drop. Between current scoring of HR3200 by CBO and projected scoring changes to be effected by the adoption of changes in Pay-Go the House plan is now looking to be ending up as budget neutral.

Now certainly the Republicans and Blue Dogs are currently howling at HOW the House leadership reaches this result, but they can less and less plausibly claim that the whole thing just passes on debt to our children. This in turn puts some pressure on Baucus, currently crying deficit tears, to find some way of getting his bill to score closer to the House Bill, where he was able to earnestly claim that he was just trying to get it down to a $trillion, the House Plan already has the 10 year price down to $239 billion with plans for another $245 billion in savings via Pay-Go legislation.

Deficit Hawks are rapidly being put in the position of paying more for less coverage and all for the benefit of the insurance and pharmo-medical complex.

The Washington State Insurance Commissioner just reluctantly approved increases in private health insurance ranging from 18-30%, then on top of a couple of years of double-digit increases. This may not be the right time for conservatives to go back to their districts and just ask constituents to just suck it up for capitalism.

Anonymous said...

What hypocrisy. The economic crisis we're currently in is a result of the mismanagement of the Bush administration. Obama has made actual changes to improve our situation and the republican party has the gall to blame the democrats for overspending? Ridiculous...

Anonymous said...

"What hypocrisy. The economic crisis we're currently in is a result of the mismanagement of the Bush administration. Obama has made actual changes to improve our situation and the republican party has the gall to blame the democrats for overspending? Ridiculous..."

Anon: I would suggest this is NOT a partisan issue. The Moron screwed us up, and now the Messiah is helping to screw us up more.

It is a Washington thing, not a party thing...

They keep getting away with it by playing tag team and we are too stupid to notice...

TheTrucker said...

"They keep getting away with it by playing tag team and we are too stupid to notice..."

That isn't true. Many of us, and perhaps most of us, notice this and have noticed in since the 80's. The problem is not lack of awareness. And there are also good initiatives out there to make the system better. The problem is that none of the people in power will allow anything to change. We enter the voting both for the purpose of keeping the Satan party in the minority. We do not vote for representatives because they represent us. We vote for them as pawns in the big idiotology chess game.

The two parties have moved further and further to the extremes and will continue to do so. This prevents any true representative government. We have a "sea change" but the dominant party keeps the other party in contention as a booger man.

The Democrats are going to get their heads handed to them this time. They have attempted to "make nice" with the Republicans to preserve them as objects of public scorn. Too late now. With the help of all the money and power commanded by the health care sector of the economy (and that is a lot of power), the Republicans are launching an all out scorched earth campaign against Obama and the Democratic version of heath care reform. And the media is owned by the Republicans and so too the pollsters.

Anonymous said...

Trucker:

I found this the other day on the Wiki while researching Former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson:

"Paulson was Staff Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense at The Pentagon from 1970 to 1972. He then worked for the administration of U.S. President Richard Nixon, serving as assistant to John Ehrlichman from 1972 to 1973, during the events of the Watergate scandal for which Ehrlichman was convicted, and sentenced to prison
... Each of Paulson's three immediate predecessors as CEO of Goldman Sachs — Jon Corzine, Stephen Friedman, and Robert Rubin — left the company to serve in government: Corzine as a U.S. Senator (later Governor of New Jersey), Friedman as chairman of the National Economic Council (later chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board) under President George W. Bush, and Rubin as both chairman of the NEC and later Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton."

As you can see, both parties are thoroughly infested with connections to some of the most predatory interests in American society. Far from moving "further and further to the extremes", the parties, in fact, are virtually indistinguishable from one another.

It is not that the battle over health care pits the democrats against the republicans (with the media backing the republicans); rather, the debate over health care allows both parties to divert your attention away from the only issue of the day: reduction of hours of work.

Both sides want to maintain Washington's power over your free time, however much they might differ on how best to accomplish this goal.

Robert said...

The (House of) Lords' Prayer

Let workers forgive us our speculation,
As we forgive those that borrow against us, almost.
For ours is the kingdom
The power and the glory
For ever and ever.


Seems like a simple recipe for continuous skimming to me. Both parties party.

Jack said...

This is only a wee bit off topic, think of it as a tangent, but the content of two posts on Taking Matter are too good not to share.

http://ataxingmatter.blogs.com/tax/

Anonymous said...

I am not convinced. I think taxes are avoided by Washington because it is more lucrative to borrow from the world than it is to tax Americans. Low taxes, low interest rates, and high (relatively) job growth was a winning formula for Washington's massive multi-generational empire project.

The American economic model presupposes an ever lengthening chain of unpayable debt, and bunch of foreign rubes who will to foot the bill and patiently wait for the check which never comes...

Anonymous said...

Which is to say, no one I know wants to pay more taxes either...