Monday, April 2, 2012

Sheep Dip

It's been plain for a long time that teabaggRs in Congress feel certain that they can say any damn thing they want and their Foxified sheep won't consider it baaaaaad. I don't know which is more depressing to contemplate: that they peddle unmitigated crap constantly, stuff that makes no sense no matter how you look at it, and do it over and over and over; or that hordes of their sheeply believers accept it without baaaaating an eye. Read Krugman's latest:

... The trouble with the budget devised by Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, isn’t just its almost inconceivably cruel priorities, the way it slashes taxes for corporations and the rich while drastically cutting food and medical aid to the needy. Even aside from all that, the Ryan budget purports to reduce the deficit — but the alleged deficit reduction depends on the completely unsupported assertion that trillions of dollars in revenue can be found by closing tax loopholes.

... to make his numbers work Mr. Ryan would, by 2022, have to close enough loopholes to yield an extra $700 billion in revenue every year. ... So which specific loopholes has Mr. Ryan, who issued a 98-page manifesto on behalf of his budget, said he would close?

None. Not one. He has, however, categorically ruled out any move to close the major loophole that benefits the rich, namely the ultra-low tax rates on income from capital. (That’s the loophole that lets Mitt Romney pay only 14 percent of his income in taxes, a lower tax rate than that faced by many middle-class families.)


... But has any major political figure ever premised his entire fiscal platform not just on totally implausible spending projections but on claims that he has a secret plan to raise trillions of dollars in revenue, a plan that he refuses to share with the public?...

Now, the House Republican budget isn’t about to become law as long as President Obama is sitting in the White House. But it has been endorsed by Mr. Romney...

For all but those who figure they already have theirs and simply don't give a crap about anyone else or about securing a future for this country, the coming election ought to be a no-brainer. I've said it a million times, but since not many listen to me, we can only hope that it gets said louder and clearer, overer and overer, by people to whom many more ears are lent.*

It ought not be close. Whether or not you think Barack Obama is too hard on gay marriage or too soft; too hawkish or too dovish; has tried to do too much or too little; you can't look at the choice that faces us in the general election and not see the starkness. On the one hand is a party that has never produced a budget that stands to the most minimal of scrutiny, but which, if it did, would devastate everything that's important to our future, in the name of preserving tax cuts for the very wealthy. It's plain. They don't deny it. They revel in the amount of spending they'd cut for health care, support programs, education, infrastructure (while increasing defense spending, which already totals way more than every other country on the planet, combined); it's just not important to them. And, overtly and proudly, they want a return to corporatocracy, unfettered by regulations on how they produce products or how they influence government. And, of course, to theocracy, where your love life is their business, and where teaching science is NOT the country's business.

And on the other hand are Barack Obama and Democrats, at least attempting to find a balance between spending cuts and revenue increases, considering it important both to reduce deficits and to provide the basic things that a country needs to survive beyond its current generations. And, by thoughtful regulation, trying to find that other balance, between stimulating business and having them be entirely free, once again, to tank the economy.

Voting for Romney -- and, for that matter, any Republican in Congress -- means making a conscious and specific decision that this country is better off maintaining -- increasing, actually -- the amount of money in the hands of the very wealthy by taking it from everyone else and thus denying such things as decent education, access to affordable healthcare, the ability to build and maintain roads and bridges and dams, research (and, yes, though they cost next to nothing, women's health access through Planned Parenthood; and NPR and the NEA). You have to have agreed that balancing the budget is priority number one and that doing so in a way that would raise any taxes at all, no matter the devastation to the country, is simply off the table. You need to acknowledge what R budget priorities would do, and to make the argument that their kind of "balance" a good thing.

And, as Krugman says (and as anyone with at least one eye and four neurons can see), you have to sign on to a plan that doesn't come close to doing even that.

Except for the devastation part.

*Looks like Obama might do that very thing. Let's hope he reads this first.

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