Yes, I know, the answer is "When hell freezes over", but when the Republicans are this ripe for the picking, a party with the political savvy of your average high school student council president would know to make hay of this:
U.S. House Republicans, who swept into power promising to rein in the federal deficit, have proposed policies in their first week that would make the shortfall worse.
Moves to repeal President Barack Obama’s health-care law and promises to extend Bush-era tax cuts and offer other breaks would add more than $1 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years, based on reports from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation.
In one of their first votes, Republicans changed anti- deficit rules to allow for tax cuts that aren’t paid for by savings elsewhere in the budget. New spending would have to be offset with cuts elsewhere, though tax increases to fund new programs would be prohibited.
“They are willing to increase the deficit if it comes as a result of things they want to do, specifically tax cuts,” said Stan Collender, a former congressional budget aide and now managing director of Qorvis Communications in Washington. “It’s a little disingenuous at best.”
The new Republican exemptions to the so-called pay-go budget rules will be “dead on arrival in the Senate,” Senator Charles Schumer a New York Democrat, told reporters yesterday.
Extending tax cuts for the highest-income Americans for just two years, as Congress did last month, will cost about $81.5 billion, according to a December report by the Joint Committee on Taxation. Extending lower rates on most capital gains and dividends will cost $53.1 billion over two years. A reduced estate tax rate will cost $68.1 billion. Over a period of 10 years, the cuts would add more than $1 trillion to the deficit, combined with a repeal of the health-care law.
The Republican mantle of "deficit hawks" simply does not hold up to scrutiny. Here is a chart showing the relationship of revenue to spending under administrations from Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush:
(A larger version of this chart, and an analysis of the U.S. national debt over this time, can be found here.)
Republicans have succeeded in convincing Idiot America that the deficits we now face are caused solely by the stimulus and by the health care reform law, not by the fact that George W. Bush started two wars and instead of paying for them, told people to go shopping and gave huge tax cuts to "the haves and the have mores", silencing Idiot America with a few hundred extra bucks in their pockets.
The Republicans' triumphant reign over the House of Representative is off to as rocky a start as George W. Bush's was. If you recall, until the 9/11 attacks saved his bacon, the story of Bush II: Electric Bugaloo, was one of continuing controversy over the Florida recount, the U.S. spy plane that was taken in China, and when a military submarine containing moneybag Bush campaign donors, one of whom may have been at the controls, struck a Japanese fishing vessel. House Republicans may be marching in lockstep to the "job-killing' talking point, and they may believe that THEIR members don't have to adhere to House rules, but anyone who still thinks that this nation hasnt' just handed the keys to the legislative equivalent of an unrepentant angry drunk should wake the hell up.