i had to listen to the house majority leader on msnbc yesterday, just to see if he actually gets it yet.
the short answer is "no."
republicans like him are still insisting that rates don't need to be raised on anyone, no matter how well they're doing right now. instead, he started singing that same old republican hymn, "we need to increase the tax base," written by the voodoo economist-in-chief, ronald reagan.
well... duuuh! does anyone really believe that democrats want the economy to suck this badly and for the government to have to face austerity because unemployment is high and tax rates and revenues are at rock bottom? of course we want tax revenues to increase and for more people to pay in. but we have chronically large deficits and debt. and for a while, both things are going to have to happen. if we're going to do something meaningful about the debt, we will have to have higher tax rates and have more people paying taxes - even after the economy begins to improve.
in other words, we have to pay for the government we have plus the government that previous administrations and congresses borrowed so heavily for.
anyway, who elected that clown eric cantor? (yeah yeah, i know. it was the old dominion.) either he thinks we're stupid or he's stupid. either way, it doesn't bode well for the republican brand.
but he says - reluctantly - that they'll go along with some revenue increases, on the condition that democrats are "serious about entitlement reform."
and this morning, on the same program, i had to suffer through dick durbin singing that old classic, "let's not talk about defense cuts." nah. the senior senator from illinois went on a 10-minute diatribe about tweaking social security, medicare, and medicaid to wring some savings out of them and raising the amount of revenue they bring in, which is great. but he's playing footsie with the opposition, who won't hear anything except 20% reduction here, hundreds of billions there, get rid of that department altogether.
but not one damned word about cutting defense or defense contracting.
and come on, republicans. after 30 years of flat or declining government spending (until TARP blew a hole in the economy and the wars hit the ledger books), low tax rates, low tax revenues, and soaring debt... how long until you guys admit that voodoo economics = FAIL?
i hear you guys grumbling, "well, i guess we have to raise taxes, because we lost the election."
what you should be saying is, "well, i guess we have to raise taxes because it's the right thing to do."
i'm perfectly willing to have reasonable discussions on cutting government spending. but you have to remember that not all government programs pay off immediately. medicare is a good example. food stamps are another. so is giving tax credits for greener electricity production.
we can be penny wise, but let's not be pound foolish.