Friday, March 20, 2015

"Trillion Dollar Fraudsters"

Here's today's must read.  Paul Krugman discusses the recently unveiled House Republican budget as yet another in a long, fraudulent tradition (these are lengthy excerpts, but the op/ed has much more, so please read it in its entirety):
By now it’s a Republican Party tradition: Every year the party produces a budget that allegedly slashes deficits, but which turns out to contain a trillion-dollar “magic asterisk” — a line that promises huge spending cuts and/or revenue increases, but without explaining where the money is supposed to come from. 
But the just-released budgets from the House and Senate majorities break new ground. Each contains not one but two trillion-dollar magic asterisks: one on spending, one on revenue. And that’s actually an understatement. If either budget were to become law, it would leave the federal government several trillion dollars deeper in debt than claimed, and that’s just in the first decade. 
You might be tempted to shrug this off, since these budgets will not, in fact, become law. Or you might say that this is what all politicians do. But it isn’t. The modern G.O.P.’s raw fiscal dishonesty is something new in American politics. And that’s telling us something important about what has happened to half of our political spectrum. (our emphasis)
(Spoiler alert:  Republicans are social Darwinist plutocrat pawns.)  Krugman then briefly explores what the effect of this magical budget would be:
... Think about what these budgets would do if you ignore the mysterious trillions in unspecified spending cuts and revenue enhancements. What you’re left with is huge transfers of income from the poor and the working class, who would see severe benefit cuts, to the rich, who would see big tax cuts. And the simplest way to understand these budgets is surely to suppose that they are intended to do what they would, in fact, actually do: make the rich richer and ordinary families poorer.
(Spoiler alert:  Republicans respond "Class warfare!  Class warfare!") Krugman concludes:
Look, I know that it’s hard to keep up the outrage after so many years of fiscal fraudulence. But please try. We’re looking at an enormous, destructive con job, and you should be very, very angry. 
The core Republican belief - as expressed so succinctly by its 2012 standard bearer Willard "Millionaire Mitt" Romney - is that there are makers/ worthy "Real (white, well-to-do) Americans" and then there are the takers/ the "47 percent" mooching off "the system," (i.e., the "welfare state").  It shows up in this and every other Republican-spawned budget, "opportunity society" policy scam, faux concern expressed for income inequality, and in the plutocrat-funded efforts (=cough= Koch brothers = cough=) to crush labor unions.  The fraudulence is always there, but never treated as the con job that it is.  If only we had a fourth estate that was interested in the truth (yes, there is such an objective thing) and not on "buzz," or who's up or down, or manufactured "it's out there" scandals, or the ever-popular "both sides do it."

BONUS:  Too bad there's not an honest budget the media can ignore focus on.

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