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Hullabaloo


Friday, March 29, 2013

 
There's no need for a Grand Bargain if we just let the GOP NIMBYism do its work

by digby

Greg Sargent has a good post talking about what Brian Beutler calls the Republican party's sequester NIMBYism. They are having fits about he cuts that are affecting their people. He concludes with this:

When you step back and look at the bigger picture, this is just crazy. Republicans voted near-unanimously for a fiscal blueprint that would decimate much of the normal functioning of government, all in service of the goal of “balancing the budget in 10 years.” But now they are calling out for relief when obscure programs — funding for rural schools, asteroid monitoring, etc. — are threatened.

The deeply farcical nature of this is important, and shouldn’t be dismissed as business as usual. This is another way in which — as Rachel Maddow noted last night — today’s Republicans have become “post policy” and are only interested in positioning themselves politically in opposition to the president, rather than being “actually invested in any particular outcome for the country.” Actually, scratch that. This shows Republicans are invested in a particular policy outcome. Even if they did vote for a budget that purports to wipe away huge chunks of the federal government (without specifying in meaningful detail how), it turns out Republicans vociferous oppose spending cuts they don’t like.

That's correct. And it's what the sequester was designed to provoke if I'm not mistaken. Indeed, if they continue to be stung by the cuts in their own districts (and the defense contractors who are starting to get rattled) they might realize that holding the country hostage for drastic "spending cuts" isn't all it's cut out to be. Why, they might even be willing to revisit the sequester and create a sane budget. That's what happened in '95 and it could happen again.

Unfortunately, they are being given an out by the president who is offering up "entitlement cuts", hidden middle class tax hikes (through the Chained-CPI), and some sort of phony baloney tax change they'll call "revenue." It remains to be seen if they take him up on his offer, but since they're getting cover from all of our Democratic leading lights, it's likely they'll go for it when the hurt gets extreme enough back home. (Plus, they can blame the Democrats for hurting their most important constituency! It's win-win.)

This doesn't have to happen. There is nothing written in stone saying this ridiculous 4 trillion dollar deficit reduction number must be met. Remember, the projected deficit has already been cut substantially:

In all, we've reduced spending by $1.8 trillion and increased taxes by $600 billion, for a total of $2.4 trillion.
Also too, this:
Notice anything? Like, how every time unemployment rises, the budget deficit also rises? And how every time unemployment falls, the budget deficit also falls?

Why could this be? For one thing, the budget deficit is largely a function of the government's inability to collect enough tax revenue from unemployed people. If we can just get those people back to work, then the government will get more revenue, and the deficit will shrink.

There is no need to touch SS in the midst of all this deficit talk. And Medicaid and Medicare should be left alone until we see what the effects of Obamacare will be.

Enough.

.

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