Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Paying for the lack of principals

FROM NEWSHOGGERS

Consistency may be the hobgoblin of small minds, but is also a decent measure of the depth of a principle. Fiscal responsibility is a very shallow principle for some of the opponents of health-care reform.

Here is Steve Benen with a righteous rant (slightly re-arranged):

Ben Nelson and Max Baucus, for example, both voted for Bush's tax cuts, funding for both of the Bush-launched wars, and spending on Bush's Medicare Part D, without so much as a hint about how to pay for them....

The record is strikingly clear. When Bush/Cheney slashed taxes by well over $1 trillion, Republicans said there was no reason to worry about paying for it. When Bush/Cheney started the war in Afghanistan, Republicans said there was no reason to worry about paying for it. When Bush/Cheney started the war in Iraq, Republicans said there was no reason to worry about paying for it. When Bush/Cheney added Medicare Part D, Republicans said there was no reason to worry about paying for it.

It's not that their efforts at paying for it came up short, it's that they didn't even try. The notion of fiscal responsibility was simply deemed irrelevant -- an inconvenient detail for unnamed people in the future to worry about.

It is reasonably to conclude that Baucus and Nelson think using government as a money laundering operation to favored business is okay, but actually solving a major problem is not despite the fact that the most recent estimate has no net federal cost. That is good to know for an activist. So how do we buy out Baucus and Nelson before primarying at least one of them?

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As Jim Hightower explains it, is that “the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans possess more net worth today than the bottom 90 percent of us combined. Worse, these privileged few and their political henchmen have structured a new economic ‘normal’ of long-term joblessness, low wages, no benefits or worker rights, miserly public services, and a steadily widening chasm between the rich and the rest of us.” We must restore sanity to this nation.