Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Fake Budget Crisis

GOP retirement at the Wisconsin Dells

From the Daily Howler today:

"In the 1998 State of the Union, Clinton said the projected federal surpluses should be applied to Social Security’s long-range balance sheet. In this way, he blocked the House GOP’s proposal for a large tax cut. In 1999, he made his full proposal: 62 percent of those federal surpluses would be used to strengthen the program’s finances, thus extending the life of Social Security by some twenty years. Some of that money would be invested in the stock market—but it would be invested as a federal fund under federal direction, not as part of individual “private accounts.” Other funds would be used to help citizens establish savings accounts—savings accounts which would operate in addition to their regular Social Security benefits, which would not be cut.That was Clinton’s proposal for the use of those looming federal surpluses. After Chris Matthews sent George Bush to the White House, this new president had a different idea; he used those projected federal surpluses for his massive tax cuts. Whatever one thinks of Clinton’s proposal—Candidate Gore didn’t agree with several parts of the plan—the Clinton proposal was vastly different from anything Bush ever did."

There's quite a lot more at Howler, check it out. 

Now that Democrats have made the first baby step towards regaining majorities in 2012 with a flawed but still significant victory in upstate New York, their goal should be to totally demolish the false fantasy of looming budget disaster which the Republicans have fabricated and helped use to launch the Ryan Budget.  The Republican cards are on the table.  What's not on the table is the obvious solution: sensible progressive tax increases to adjust the budget shortfalls, plus (of course) some sensible cuts where they are needed--in military spending. Surely the Democratic Party is capable of convincing a majority of American voters of the intelligence of such a course of action.  Wouldn't it be just wonderful to see Paul Ryan where he belongs--running a cash register in some CVS in a strip mall in Chippewa Falls, or working the swing shift at the Dells Antique Mall.  He would in either case still only be a scant few miles from I-94, and could drive down to the entrance of a Sunday afternoon and watch the traffic.
Don't let the music scare you. 

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