Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Big Picture: Reaction to The Republican Budget

The Strike: Today, the Republican party unveiled their alternative to President Obama’s proposed budget, and for those of you keeping score at home, it did indeed include actual numbers. Their proposal would freeze non-defense discretionary spending at the end of this fiscal year to its current levels, it would create a “simplified” tax code in a way that would cut rich people’s marginal taxes by 10 percent and slash corporate and capital gains taxes, and it would take steps to privatize Medicare. I would understand, not even think about supporting, but would understand if you were making these cuts as a genuine attempt to reduce the deficit and national debt. Of course, this budget doesn’t do that at all. For all the Republican yapping about the Obama budget’s $4 trillion deficit, this proposal would cause a $3 trillion deficit. It would let national debt climb to 75% of GDP. When I first saw this Washington Post headline, I thought it was an April Fool's Joke:

GOP Offers Alternative Budget
House Republicans would cut taxes, freeze most spending for five years, halt stimulus and slash federal health programs for the poor and elderly.
Lori Montgomery 2:37 p.m. ET

The Big Picture offers his slightly less restrained reaction to the budget below.

The Big Picture: This is an unbelievably outrageous budget. In my opinion it's far more outrageous than any racist or sexist or homophobic remarks, any stupid talk about religion or Islam, any lobbying scandal, any bonuses or insider dealing, or anything like that. I think it's about as outrageous and immoral thing as you can do. Anybody associated with that budget proposal should never hold any position of power again - I mean, that's what happened to Eliot Spitzer for a "crime" that is 1/1 millionth as bad as this. It proposes to give everything to the rich and destroy our democracy, our economy, and the lives of millions of people. This budget is pure nihilism. It is beyond a catastrophically stupid policy idea. For all the arguments for the immorality of the Bush Administration's proposal of the Iraq War, one could not reasonably say that the Bush Administration set out to intentionally severely weaken America. There is no evidence that they invaded Iraq because they wanted to ruin our country, and in fact they were surely aware that it would be far better for their political careers for their war to strengthen America. In contrast, the Republicans who support this budget clearly take their marching orders from Rush Limbaugh and his ilk, who clearly, unambiguously state that they want Barack Obama's policies, which are America's policies, to fail. More specifically, a powerful House Republican named Patrick McHenry has stated that Republican's goal should be to bring down Nancy Pelosi's approval ratings - not to rescue the economy, help struggling people, or anything else. And every astute political observer knows that the only way for the Republican Party to come back to power is for Barack Obama's policies to fail and for economic conditions to worsen, the worse the better, as far as they're concerned. Finally, there is zero evidence, from any economist anywhere on the political spectrum, that the Republican budget would do anything other than severely weaken our economy and society. So there is persuasive evidence that not only would the budget devastate our country, but that this devastation is its very intention. I don't say this lightly, but the evidence points to only one conclusion: this is an anti-American budget. It is treason.

I sincerely hope that signing onto this budget will be the equivalent of joining the Communist Party during the Cold War - anyone who signed this treasonous budget should be hounded out of public life, and anyone who even expressed words of support, or even words that weren't strict condemnation, should be regarded with high suspicion for the rest of their political careers. I hope that in the Presidential campaign of 2028, the Democratic candidate will be able to say to the Republican candidate, "We have documentation of an e-mail you wrote as a young lawyer in 2009 which expressed an ambivalent, arguably even mildly approving, attitude toward the Republican Treason Budget of 2009. How can we trust you after you were a fellow traveler with those nihilists?" And the Republican is forced to apologize for his conduct, and repudiate and denounce any and all support from anyone associated with the 2009 Republican Party leadership.

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