Cartoon by Charles M. Schulz
At less than 100 days before the 2010 midterm elections, representatives of both parties are playing political football with deficits, spending and taxes. Between focus groups and polling they have obviously been alerted to the fact that the electorate really does care about these issues. How deficits, spending and taxes will be addressed, however, differs wildly depending on whom is speaking.
Republicans are supporting the extension of the Bush tax cuts for everyone, but they have not been very articulate in explaining why. They often seem flummoxed by the contention that extending these have added and will continue to add to the deficit. In fact, the Republicans are not responding to those, like Timothy Geithner, who are saying that letting the Bush tax cuts expire, at least for the top earners, is the “responsible thing to do”. Many Democrats seem to be equating the decrease of the deficit with, ostensibly, increasing revenue to the Government through higher taxes on “the rich”. (Of course, these are the same brilliant Democrats that touted Obamacare as a deficit-reducer.) What we do not hear Republicans shout with a unified voice is that without reduced spending any tax revenue increase will be more than offset by continued Government spending.
Enter four Democrats who are proposing spending cuts to decrease deficits. These say that Republicans have offered “only rhetoric” about spending cuts but no real action. These four Democrats plan to proffer “real” spending cuts on the House floor. Now, these four clearly know what will resonate with voters, but they are being disingenuous in stating that Republicans have offered “only rhetoric” about spending cuts. Over eight weeks ago, Eric Cantor, (R-Virginia), began the “You Cut” site which is located at http://republicanwhip.house.gov/YouCut/. In each of those weeks, Americans have voted for a program or expense that they would like to see cut. The Republicans have then brought up the winning item for vote on the House floor. In every case the Democrats have defeated the spending cut proposal. (By the way, since the four Democrats, mentioned previously, have so recently joined together to cut spending, they do not have a web-site in operation.) Again, the Republicans would do well to vigorously emphasize that they initiated not only speaking about spending cuts, but also have attempted legislative action on them despite being in the minority in Congress.
Our Republican representatives would do well to educate the public about: 1) why the Keynesian policies of this Administration have failed to initiate and sustain a robust economic recovery, and 2) how policies based on classical economic theory would remedy the economic malaise in which we find ourselves. November is quickly approaching and with it comes what will be one of the most important elections of our lifetimes. Let us pray that the Conservatives will craft a simple, unified and articulate message and then loudly proclaim it.
Filed under: November 2010 midterm elections, deficits, democrats, economy, government spending, republicans, taxes