What the hell is it with the Republicans?
Yeah. really what is there deal. The nation needs to seriously discuss and debate our debt, our revenue, and our costs. Everyone knows that. But for some reason they feel the need to try and force the discussion to really omit talk on the debt, and talk on our revenue. It seems they want to try and tackle cost alone, and pretend that will fix it all.
Here is how this works. We have Debt (D), Revenue to the Government (R), and Costs the Government Pays (C). And they each need to address C and R, to lead to changes in D. Either debt can be payed off, or more debt needs to be taken on.
R + C = Change in D
Ideally, the result should be a shrinking debt. Ideally. But it doesn't often work that way. And we should work towards this. Trouble is, the time to bring this fight for debt cutting, and surpluses, like under Clinton, should come in stronger economic periods. Doing it now in a weaker economic period does not benefit us. It spreads suffering, deepens troubles, and creates long term strife and issues. The impulse is to cut into C, but that must be done thoughtfully, not as demanded by a given ideology.
R must also be carefully taken on. In this weaker economic period to heap on further trouble to those in distress makes little sense. Now those with deeper pockets can be turned to. How much? That is the debate. For Republicans it is a negative value. For Democrats it is up in the air. But I suggest at a minimum, you go look at the current tax rate in the country, and then look at what it was under Ronald Reagan. Look at the far far higher rates in the days of Reaganomics.
So consider today's Republicans. They have decided that the debt ceiling makes a wonderful campaign talking point. And through it they get to cry over the idea of the rich paying anymore taxes, or elderly people, or the poor, receive aid.
It is a sad sight. They treat the nation's financial state as a chance for theatrics. Eric Cantor last week met with the president to discuss the debt ceiling, but it was all so late in the week he could have a stages walk out in "righteous" indignation. For he and the rest of the Republican leaders this is all a chance to pose and pout. They talk of demanding that they are given a chance to build a plan with the president to so as to secure the future stability and growth of our economy. Everything should be on the table...except changing the debt ceiling, or raising revenue. So for them it is all slashing costs. Slash Medicare. Slash Medicaid. Slash social security. Slash, slash, slash. They are making quite a show of it. Any Republican that votes to increase the debt ceiling will be driven from offices, says one Republican leader.
This is a loud and clear declaration from the conservatives. No tax increase. No debt ceiling boost. And if they turn to allow them, they are on the record as hypocrites. If those that have promised to destroy those that vote for a ceiling raising don't act they will be hypocrites. So they are committed.
Either the nation will do what they want. Or they will break the nation. That has more and more proven to be the silent code and oath of the Republican faithful.
I don't like zealots.