This week’s cartoon: “Post-Debt Ceiling Ultimatums”
In the midst of all the hand-wringing over deficits, it seems no one is bringing up the simple fact that the deficit will disappear if Congress does NOTHING. The entire debate is a crock of simmering crap, a thinly-veiled excuse for Republicans who don’t give a damn about deficits to gut social programs. It’s straight out of the GOP playbook. Run up massive deficits to starve the beast (see: Reagan, Bush Jr.), then squawk bloody murder when a Democrat is in charge, pinning the blame on them and forcing the Dem to clean up the mess (see: Clinton, Obama, Mark Warner as governor of Virginia). And no matter how irresponsible the Republicans are, or how cautious Dems are budget-wise, the grand narrative never changes. Dems are always characterized as big spenders, Repubs as pillars of fiscal probity. And when Dems point to loopholes like the private jet tax break, the Republicans’ talking point is: “That’s small potatoes. It would hardly make a dent in the deficit.” Well, if it’s no big deal, then why threaten to blow up the whole economy over it? And if minor expenses don’t matter, why threaten to defund NPR over piddling chump change? These people are unserious frauds concerned only with dismantling the New Deal, and the media should treat them as such. Anyone — and any cartoonist — who takes these self-proclaimed “deficit hawks” at face value (especially that smug, dead-eyed, know-nothing doucheswizzle Paul Ryan) is doing a gross disservice to the public and to democracy itself.