We’ve all heard John Boehner ask it by now: “Where are the president’s spending cuts?” The game on the Hill is that the Republicans demand spending cuts, but don’t actually propose any. They then turn on the President, demanding that he put cuts on the table in a guessing game of what cuts are acceptable.
This is a game the President has wisely chosen not to play.
The GOP has long played a game with the budget. In the debt ceiling negotiations last year, the GOP forced through a painful across the board cut, along with a fixed budget profile. Now it is trying to back away from those mandatory cuts to corporate welfare programs by trying to shift them to other departments.
But when asked for specifics on what they would cut from the budget, the answer remains vague or evasive at best. Simply put, there is nothing left to cut. Years of budget cuts and constrained growth has resulted in the smallest government since the 1950’s under Harry Truman. For example, NASA, one of the largest discretionary non-military budget items, is less than 0.1% of GDP, a far cry from its peak at 1.2% of GDP in 1967.
The Republicans love to claim that we have a spending problem, and they are right, but in the wrong way. Our spending problem is that we are not spending federal dollars on things which grow the economy, such as education and science, but instead are spending it on tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires along with corporate welfare programs, such as those through the overinflated military budget.
The reasons for the large national deficit is not due to overspending, but with the failure to collect revenue. Already the GOP has slashed tax collection programs resulting in reduced revenue from a myriad of sources, such as the Federal Aviation Administration, which was prohibited from collecting almost $30 million a day in service fees, a practice that Representative Eric Cantor defended as you can hear for yourself here in this video:
Now they are trying to pull the same tricks again, claiming to be fiscal conservatives when in fact they are nothing but fat cat corporatists, seeking to fatten the pockets of whichever corporation is willing to play quid pro quo with them. Then when they force the failure to collect revenue, and degrade the U.S. credit rating, which will cause even more wasted money in the guise of higher interest rates for borrowing. Billions more wasted for nothing but pointless political brinksmanship.
Despite the failure of trickle down economics, the GOP is doubling down, claiming that more tax cuts will solve everyone’s economic woes. If their claim was true, then we should have had a booming past decade, but instead have had the worst economy since the Great Depression with wage growth virtually non-existent.
The GOP even blocks proven economic growth programs, which would increase government revenues through infrastructure improvements. So much for being “fiscal conservatives.” Instead they are just con men, shaking the same old mantra which no longer resonates with the modern American.
The GOP, through this fake debt ceiling fight, is just demonstrating once again that they are out of touch, and falling further behind. If you are a conservative, these people are not supporting you, they never have.