I am listening to Virginia Republican governor Bob McDonnell make the argument this morning on NPR that we have to cut entitlements to balance the budget. No we don’t. We don’t have to do anything of the sort. It is a political decision. What we choose to cut and what we choose to fund is a matter of priorities. The GOP puts priorities behind corporate subsidies, “job creator” tax cuts, and tax loopholes before the investments we have made in social programs like Medicare and Social Security, neither of which is bankrupt nor insolvent. These programs simply need proper management — which includes proper funding — and they will be fine. The choice to do otherwise is a political one.
Moreover, McDonald repeats the GOP lie pinning the blame for our deficit on Obama’s reckless spending. This, he says, only makes cuts to entitlements even more urgent. The argument implies that we are spending ourselves more into a deeper hole because spending increases are out of control.
But the myth persists, and it persists in large part because GOP politicians cannot be straight with the facts. Without any qualms whatsoever, the GOP repeats the same tired rhetoric. On the one hand, insisting that we must cut entitlements is only true if you want to cut entitlements in the first place, which is exactly the advertised goal of conservative politics. And then on the other is a blatant lie, one among many, attempting to both deflect responsibility and sabotage the efforts of a president for whom they have visceral dislike.
These positions are nothing less than petty politics.
- Obama’s Right-Hand-Man Offers Social Insurance Program Cuts, Again. (my.firedoglake.com)
- Chris Weigant: Blue Fairy Godmother Budget Cuts (huffingtonpost.com)
- Can the Party of No Ever Say Yes? (politicalirony.com)
- Thank Republicans for the Sequester Showdown (readersupportednews.org)