Fiscal Responsibility Doesn’t Look Like This

The White House recently announced that the federal budget deficit will fall to 583 billion this year. That’s the smallest deficit since Obama became President, and it continues a widely-ignored trend of falling deficits during his tenure.

If you listened to the Republicans, you’d never know that the debt and deficit have both been declining (if you listened to Faux News, you wouldn’t know the difference between them), and you’d certainly get the impression that the GOP is the party watching out for the public purse. That impression would be wrong.

Very wrong.

The Washington Monthly notes that

The Republican House just voted for an inexcusable $287 billion supply-side corporate tax giveaway:

The GOP-led House of Representatives embraced a former stimulus measure Friday, voting to make it and another related tax cut permanent, adding $287 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years.

The largest part of the cut, worth more than $263 billion, is making permanent so-called bonus depreciation, which allows businesses to write off the cost of capital investments and improvements much more quickly.

It was enacted twice during the administration of President George W. Bush, and the most recent version expired last year. The idea behind it is that if lawmakers give businesses a break during tough economic times, they will speed up major equipment purchases and stimulate economic activity.

Those who support making such a stimulus measure permanent argue that it would give businesses the certainty to be able to plan their investments. But opponents — primarily Democrats — mocked the idea, pointing to Congressional Research Service reports that found the break was a weak stimulus to begin with, and that the stimulative effect is likely to fall even further if the break becomes permanent.

Not only is the GOP not party of fiscal responsibility, it has become the pro-redistribution party–a reverse Robin Hood cabal intent upon taking from the poor to give more and more to the rich. (Except, of course, when there is an advantage to doing otherwise.)

Welfare for the well-off. Bupkis for the poor. Welcome to dystopia.


  1. Thank you for making that public; I guess you have become our surrogate for the free press.

  2. You conveniently ignore actions by the Democratic-controlled Senate to approve more of the same type of corporate tax giveaways. You and the people who follow your blog are delusional if you believe this is a problem caused by the Republican Party alone. Members of both political parties are equally guilty of trading tax breaks for special interests in exchange for campaign contributions at the expense of the rest of us.

  3. When Geo Bush took office a CBO report informed him that, if the economy kept humming, and he left in place Clinton’s economic and tax policies, the country would be debt free by 2006 and have a $2.4T surplus by 2011.

    Instead he declared two holy wars, a vast reduction in revenues from tax cuts that mostly benefitted the wealthy, and fired up the housing market with nearly permanent low interest rates by the Alan Greenspan Fed, hoping for a prosperity bubble that would pay for the tax cuts.

    Every nickel of our current $17T debt can be traced to those policies plus Republican marketing to avoid accountability for those debacles by blaming Obama. The Bush legacy carries on to this day.

    Now Republicans are desperate to finance the declining years of the fossil fuels industry by shifting their cost to future tax payers in recovery from, and adaptation to, a vastly different climate.

    Gary may be correct that the Democrats and Republicans are equal in the penny ante tit for tat buying of political capital with public funds. Perhaps.

    But Democrats are hopelessly out classed in the selling of Democracy to the oligarchs. And I personally would rather be slightly poorer and free than a slave to the Kochs and Murdoch and the NRA army.

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