The Republican Party would like Americans to believe they are all for deficit reduction. Of course, their position on the deficit and spending can easily be refuted by the free pass they gave the Bush Administration, who conducted business in Washington like they were playing with monopoly money. That said, the Teaparty was hatched to keep Obama in check, and the November midterm election saw much of their members elected to Congress.
They rode into Washington claiming to have a mandate from the Teaparty the –reduction of America’s deficit–and in keeping with this mandate, Republican leaders in the house began making the usual promises . One of those promises was a reduction of $100 billion, a feat easier said than done, and one that can only be accomplished through drastically slashing services that benefit many Americans. The Teaparty demanded these spending cuts, and the House Republicans are determined to please.
So what’s a Republicans to do?
Paul Krugman – a nobel price winner for Economics – wrote an article in then New York Times in which he explains the plight the Republican leaders face. As Krugman explains, Republicans will “sacrifice the future.”
Focus the cuts on programs whose benefits aren’t immediate; basically, eat America’s seed corn. There will be a huge price to pay, eventually — but for now, you can keep the base happy.
If you didn’t understand that logic, you might be puzzled by many items in the House G.O.P. proposal. Why cut a billion dollars from a highly successful program that provides supplemental nutrition to pregnant mothers, infants, and young children? Why cut $648 million from nuclear nonproliferation activities? (One terrorist nuke, assembled from stray ex-Soviet fissile material, can ruin your whole day.) Why cut $578 million from the I.R.S. enforcement budget? (Letting tax cheats run wild doesn’t exactly serve the cause of deficit reduction.)
Once you understand the imperatives Republicans face, however, it all makes sense. By slashing future-oriented programs, they can deliver the instant spending cuts Tea Partiers demand, without imposing too much immediate pain on voters. And as for the future costs — a population damaged by childhood malnutrition, an increased chance of terrorist attacks, a revenue system undermined by widespread tax evasion — well, tomorrow is another day.
Sacrificing America’s future just to win the next vote. But then again we are talking about the Republican party, and with them, it has always been party before country, regardless of what John McCain’s 2008 presidential slogan was!
Read Paul Krugman’s Article here.