Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bald Faced Lie of the Day

"We've been down this road before, and Republicans will not go down it again. In 1990, Congress and the President struck a deficit reduction deal that combined spending cuts with tax increases. Unfortunately, while the tax hikes remained, the spending restraint did not, and our debt has only marched higher."

-Republican Senator, Orrin Hatch

Apparently, being a Republican means you can re-write history any which way you please, and not be called out on it. This morning, as I watched CNN, the 24 Hour News network ran a segment on President Obama's call for a debt limit/long term budget compromise position that would involve spending cuts and tax increases at a ratio of about 5 to 1. CNN then quoted Hatch above, but for some reason saw no need to point out that Hatch's statement is a bald faced lie, seemingly suggesting that the Clinton era tax increases (which left the nation with a $200+ billion surplus when the Democratic president left office) are still with us today, when in fact they were undone by his Republican successor, President Bush, who pushed through massive tax cuts that immediately plunged the nation into deficit. Hatch is correct that massive spending increases also followed, but conveniently fails to note that the spending increases, too, were the result of Republican policies, such as unnecessary wars and a poorly conceived prescription drug benefit for seniors that was not balanced by either tax increases or spending cuts and which specifically excluded the government from using its purchasing power to negotiate better drug prices.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

The extent to which Republicans are willing to damage the country's long term health to protect the assets of the moneyed classes is truly astonishing (and sickening). The Daily Beast is reporting that, even as the GOP stands in absolute opposition to any tax increases that might form part of a budget package to reduce the national debt, Speaker of the House John Boehner and Viginia representative Eric Cantor have identified one area of potential revenue increases they are willing to consider. Student loans:

As Monday’s White House budget talks got down to the nitty-gritty, Eric Cantor proposed a series of spending cuts, one of them aimed squarely at college students.

The House majority leader, who did most of the talking for the Republican side, said those taking out student loans should start paying interest right away, rather than being able to defer payments until after graduation. It is a big-ticket item that would save $40 billion over 10 years

That Republicans are willing to make higher education even more unaffordable than it is now to shield their wealthy patrons from tax increases is simply astonishing and betrays a degree of irresponsibility that is difficult to fathom. As our economy becomes more and more focused on high technology and innovation and as the nation faces ever mounting challenges from emerging econmies around the world, the GOP is promoting policies that would hamper the educational prospects of our next generation of scientists, businessmen, entrepeneurs and innovators. It's mind boggling. It's a dagger, thrust directly into the heart of the middle class. How these people still command legions of angry followers simply defies explanation. GOP voters need to get back on their meds so they can see the world as it really is, and not as the screetching voices echoing in the hollow spaces of their paranoid minds tell them it is.