Thursday, December 16, 2010

The GOP: Party of Fiscal Fraud

It's been quite the spectacle to watch the Republican Party abandon nearly everything on which it campaigned this past fall regarding fiscal sanity and getting tough on the deficit. Ezra Klein muses:

This year, [the deficit frauds have] mainly been Republicans who opposed unemployment benefits because they'd add $56 billion to the deficit but demanded tax cuts that would add $4 trillion to the deficit.
Here's Tea Party advocate Hugh Hewitt trying to rationalize what the Republicans are doing in supporting the brokered tax deal:

The worst part of "the deal" is the damage it does to the Pledge to America. Speaker-designate Boehner's website prominently features the Pledge, and this Facebook page provides all the handy links to GOP rhetoric about it from September forward.

"The deal" violates five provisions of the Pledge, though hopefully one of those provisions --"Read the bill"-- will be honored before the House votes on "the deal" this week. Representative Steve King of Iowa bluntly declared what everyone knows on last night's Sean Hannity program --he hasn't read the bill yet because there is no bill to read. Thus all the GOP members declaring for the bill have been abandoning the pledge for the sake of creating a sense of momentum around "the deal."

On yesterday's program Congressmen Dan Lungren and Tom McClintock, both fiscal conservatives, declared for "the deal." Both argue that it was the best this Congress could do. Many conservatives reject that argument, but it is obviously a legitimate position to hold. But the GOP leadership needs to get out and talk about the Pledge and why it needs to be abandoned for the moment but will guide the new Congress.
My italics. Didja get that? What Hewitt is saying is, "Hey, all you rabid Tea Partiers who followed the Republican Party because of our position on the deficit: we know we said that the deficit was a BIIIIIG problem and that we'd tackle it as part of our Pledge to America, but we felt it best at this time to compromise with President Obama because all those millions of unemployed Americans really do need the government's help, despite the fact that we believe that help will compel them to avoid seeking employment. We'll gladly increase the deficit a puny $56 billion to help them (which will actually yield over $90 billion in fiscal stimulus) so long as we get those tax cuts for the top 0.3% of earners in this country, which we promised would stimulate the economy (even though they won't) and create jobs (even though they won't)."

Actually they will stimulate the economy and create jobs, but just not in America. The Cayman Islands, Bermuda, and other exotic locales will get great benefit from all those billions. But those middle-class Republicans in the flyover states who really could use the money? Hike up them bootstraps, now, and get to work!

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