How to Subtract $4 Trillion from the Deficit
Congress seems to be tearing its hair out over two simultaneous mind-boggling problems:
1. The Deficit Panel wants to eliminate $4 trillion from the deficit, using a politically suicidal combination of privatizing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid; reducing military spending; and eliminating popular tax deductions.
2. Congressional Republicans, as usual, are stamping their feet, pouting and holding their breath ‘til they turn blue. And once again, this tactic — it’s the only thing they know how to do — will undoubtedly work. They’re planning to block ALL legislation until the Bush tax cuts get extended for everybody. If these tax cuts are made permanent, they’ll add $4 trillion to the deficit.
Funny how two unsolvable problems can sometimes cancel each other out. “Oh My God, we absolutely HAVE to pass this law which will add $4 trillion to the deficit!” “Now, what painful excruciating sacrifices can we all agree on, that would eliminate $4 trillion from the deficit? This is sooo complicated.”
Since NOTHING is what Congress does best, why don’t they just let the tax cuts expire and spend the rest of this session sitting there with their thumbs up their asses? (And like Ronald Reagan having Alzheimer’s, how would we tell?)
Sure a tax increase would suck, but so would most of those brilliant ideas from the deficit panel. Privatizing Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid? You’ll be old someday. If you liked Enron and the Wall Street meltdown, you’ll love privatized Social Security. Eliminating the mortgage interest deduction? Welcome to American Revolution 2.0. Reduced Pentagon spending sounds good, but Halliburton/Bechtel/Big Oil will never allow it.
For once, Democrats could try NOT bending over. Let the tax cuts expire, and give John Boehner something to cry about.