In a Tea Party-based stupor, Republicans are locked in a battle with President Obama and Senate Democrats over cuts to the sizeable deficit. Of course, rather than look at the real causes of the deficit, they continue to attack Democratic-supported institutions such as labor unions, Public Broadcasting, the Department of Education, Planned Parenthood, the health care reform bill and the so-called “entitlements” of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. And, of course, they place most of the blame for the deficit on President Obama.Once again, the Republicans are dead wrong.
According to a report by the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “…the economic downturn, the Bush tax cuts and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq explain virtually the entire deficit over the next ten years.”
Even the costs of the stimulus bill and financial rescues have had relatively little impact on the deficit. Again, according to the CBPP, “those costs pale next to other policies enacted since 2001 that have swollen the defict.” The CBPP report continues, “Just two policies dating from the Bush Administration – tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – accounted for over $500 billion of the deficit in 2009 and will account for almost $7 trillion in deficits … through 2019, including the associated debt-service costs.”
The truth is that the current Republican initiatives to cut the deficit are a ruse. They are merely driven by ideology in an attempt to strengthen their hold on public office. There are only three ways to cut the deficit without harming the middle class and the most vulnerable people in our society: Cut our bloated defense budget designed, not just to protect us, but to force our will on the rest of the world. End corporate welfare such as the obscene subsidies for Big Oil. And raise taxes on those who can most afford it, such as the 400 Americans who control 50 percent of the nation’s wealth.
If you’d like to read the entire CBPP report for yourself, follow this link: http://www.cbpp.org/files/12-16-09bud.pdf