April 12, 2011

Will the real "deficit hawks" please stand up?

I have no problem with Republicans espousing their tax cuts doctrine, as long as they don't call themselves "deficit hawks". The term "hawk" implies an uncompromising commitment to a single doctrine, which in this case is directly cutting the deficit -- the current cost of federal operations -- above all else. Even if the "trickle-down" model were realistic, by definition it makes no direct dent in the deficit -- it increases the deficit without reducing the burden on those hardest working and hardest hit. 

Those who argue there's no better time for tax cuts favoring wealthier Americans do have a legitimate theory, albeit one that has never been proven. After all, when have high-income tax cuts actually fueled a sustained economic recovery? Economic stimulus, on the other hand, has always generated economic activity, jobs, and consumer confidence. Deficit-funded economic stimulus has also been proven to restore economic balance.

It was a Republican President, George W. Bush, who pushed us into unprecedented deficits and unprecedented tax concessions to the wealthiest 1-2 percent of Americans. And now, finally, Republicans are complaining about big deficits...

The rhetoric of Republican leaders makes clear that a real goal is to further enrich wealthy Americans and private businesses, period. And to shut down the poster children of liberal politics -- Planned Parenthood, the Environmental Protection Agency, health coverage, et al. 

Most mystifying of all, millions of hard-working, middle-class Americans support tax cuts as revealed word. And they support the right of corporations to pay negligible taxes and employee benefits while engaging in unlimited opaque campaign spending to ensure the election of friendly legislators. The diminution of representative democracy is not good for America (which should be our number-one concern), nor is it good for most Americans -- at least, not if real household income has anything to do with it. 

It's bad enough that politicians use their influence to discredit and block proven economic first aid. But cloaking it in terms of cutting the deficit -- even while pushing it higher without measurable benefit to most Americans -- is simply audacious.

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