We have been reading daily about the mighty struggles among the House GOP to figure out a way to cut $50 billion from the budget.
In fact, in light of the looming budget deficit crisis (Today's USA Today, while off on some specifics, was pretty much on target in predicting that our continued growing deficits would sooner or later implode the economy if something isn't done), reigning in spending does make some sense.
However, this is a classical 'bait and switch' routine. The Senate voted to cut $39 billion, and the house is looking at the $50 billion cut, all from social services (thereby targetting in many cases those programs which have already seen deep cuts). Yet none of the cuts involve corporate welfare. NONE. I blogged yesterday on the prescription drug bill which is primarily designed to fatten pharmaceutical companies with our taxes, but as we have seen in the case of, for example, the recent energy bill and 'extras' packed into the anti-terrorism bill, there are many, many companies which are getting pretty full at the public trough. But not a word about cutting any of that.
And what is more, the GOP proposes to follow this sequence of cuts (amounting to about 4% of the projected deficit) with $70 billion in additional tax cuts. You do the math. Obviously cutting a smaller amount that than has nothing to do with the deficit and everything to do with ideology and politics.
Of course, when Clinton was the President and the economy was booming and we had a surplus, Republicans proposed tax cuts as a way to let people share in the wealth. When it was flat, they proposed them to jump start the economy. A few years later, it is in a somewhat volatile recovery (which it was due for anyway) and they are proposing that tax cuts will stabilize the economy. In other words, Republicans have one solution for everything, and they can change their argument to fit whatever the conditions are at the time.