Friday, July 22, 2011

Don't Need No Stinkin' Facts

[Having accidentally deleted it, this is a re-write of this morning's post, fairly close to the original.]

In a dramatic GBCW comment, a reader stormed off after I called bullshit for one too many times, I guess. Over his shoulder, as he left the room, he wrote "BHO spends too much money, pure and simple." And there's the problem in a nutshell: teabaggers think our economy is "simple" and all we need are simple solutions. They don't like it much when questioned, evidently.

So he's gone. Sadly, Eric Cantor is still here. And his command of facts is even more shaky; which is a problem, since, unlike my commenter, Cantor actually affects the debate. Here's a report in The Boston Globe:

SOMETIMES AN erroneous assertion is made so often and with such certitude that you find yourself wondering how the people repeating it reached their incorrect conclusion.

That’s the case with the Republican insistence that Washington doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. That specious formulation is a favorite of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. ...

So where did the Virginia congressman come by that notion? ...

And does he have any fiscal studies to backstop his assertion?

Last week, I put those questions to Brad Dayspring, his spokesman.


Yesterday, Dayspring emailed to say that Cantor “had reviewed literature’’ on how other developed countries have dealt with their deficits...

He sent along an American Enterprise Institute analysis of deficit-reduction efforts elsewhere...

... I wish Cantor had reviewed the AEI study more carefully. If only he had focused on Table 6, where the authors note that in deficit packages they “and the literature’’ - that is, other evaluators - judged successful, an average of 80 percent of the deficit reduction had come through spending cuts, while 20 percent had resulted from new revenues.

Or that he’d taken seriously the deficit-reduction plan proposed by the three AEI authors themselves. They call for accomplishing 85 percent of the deficit reduction on the spending side, but doing 15 percent on the revenue side. How? Through a 2.5 percent payroll tax on all earned income.

That’s right: The principal document Cantor’s office produced to backstop his cuts-only approach actually calls for more revenues.

It doesn’t get much more revealing than that.

Along those lines, here's a Republican governor who did a quick one-eighty on the debt ceiling, when he got wind of some actual facts.

Maybe he should call ol' Eric. Not that, based on the above, we would expect any facts to make any difference at all.


Anonymous said...

80% spending cuts + 20% increased revenue from taxes. Sounds fair to me......and pretty simple.
Precordial Thumper

Sid Schwab said...

Well, it's at least one step too complicated for teabaggers.

Welcome back.

Anonymous said...


Goodbye cruel world?

Sid Schwab said...

Yes. I'm a hep cat to the cool lingo.

Good to hear from you, by the way. Hope you're well.

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