Monday, July 19, 2010

Redo Dat Voodoo

Paul Krugman

Republicans are feeling good about the midterms — so good that they’ve started saying what they really think. This week the party’s Senate leadership stopped pretending that it cares about deficits, stating explicitly that while we can’t afford to aid the unemployed or prevent mass layoffs of schoolteachers, cost is literally no object when it comes to tax cuts for the affluent.

And that’s one reason — there are others — why you should fear the consequences if the G.O.P. actually does as well in November as it hopes.

But we’re talking about voodoo economics here, so perhaps it’s not surprising that belief in the magical powers of tax cuts is a zombie doctrine: no matter how many times you kill it with facts, it just keeps coming back. And despite repeated failure in practice, it is, more than ever, the official view of the G.O.P.

But if politicians who insist that the way to reduce deficits is to cut taxes, not raise them, start winning elections again, how much faith can anyone have that we’ll do what needs to be done? Yes, we can have a fiscal crisis. But if we do, it won’t be because we’ve spent too much trying to create jobs and help the unemployed. It will be because investors have looked at our politics and concluded, with justification, that we’ve turned into a banana republic.

Anyway, we really should thank Senators Kyl and McConnell for their sudden outbursts of candor. They’ve now made it clear, in case anyone had doubts, that their previous posturing on the deficit was entirely hypocritical. If they really do have the kind of electoral win they’re expecting, they won’t try to reduce the deficit — they’ll try to make it explode by demanding even more budget-busting tax cuts.

Read the rest. I have nothing to add.


Repug motto, from a Raw Story headline:

"Help the rich, screw the poor"

With or without the comma.

Update 2:

Jim Hightower

Deficit hawks are on the fly in Washington, madly screeching that America can no longer afford...well, the American people.

Having slashed taxes for the wealthiest 1 percent of our society, having lavished gabillions of dollars on unnecessary wars that enrich politically connected government contractors, having laid out trillions of dollars to bail out Wall Street's casino banksters who crashed our real economy -- Washington's brave fighters for extending more of our nation's wealth to the already-rich have suddenly turned into born-again budget whackers.

Are they cutting back on any of the above elites, you ask? What a joker you are! No, no -- it's regular folks who must pay the price for the decade of excess that these politicos lavished on the rich.

So, students, the lesson here is that public spending is only sensible if it goes to the moneyed elites, and budget cuts are only good when applied to the rest of us.

A new definition of "free market" just popped into my head: If you own the market, everything's free. Other people will pay for it.

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