Monday, September 27, 2010

Details please

Questions: What president raised taxes seven times while in office? What President claimed as a campaign promise to “read my lips, no more taxes” then promptly raised taxes after being elected? What president engaged this country in two wars and the largest drug giveaway to seniors in history by borrowing in excess of a trillion dollars from China? The answers to these questions are Reagan, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. So much for history serving as a guide to present conduct. Now that the current cabal of Republicans have spent nearly two years acting in unison to reject everything the Democrats tried to accomplish, including turning down proposals and bills previously supported and/or written by various individual Republicans themselves, they are finally going into action this week, in an effort that I will characterize as Gingrich-lite, a feeble attempt to claim a national agenda intended to sweep the Democrats out of office in early November. The platform without telling us how is to lower taxes and eliminate the deficit. Read my lips, no more taxes. A little short on details, however the “Pledge to America,” outlining their policy agenda promises to protect defense spending, social security and Medicare for senior citizens.. Howard Gleckman of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has done the math. As he points out, the only way to balance the budget by 2020, while simultaneously (a) making the Bush tax cuts permanent and (b) protecting all the programs Republicans say they won’t cut, is to completely abolish the rest of the federal government: “No more national parks, no more Small Business Administration loans, no more export subsidies, no more N.I.H. No more Medicaid (one-third of its budget pays for long-term care for our parents and others with disabilities). No more child health or child nutrition programs. No more highway construction. No more homeland security. Oh, and no more Congress.”

Sounds to me like the ultimate Republican goals are for America to replicate the current situations in Iraq and Afghanistan.