What, No Deficit?
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Koch-funded Florida Tea-Party Sen. Marco Rubio gave the “Republican Response” to the President’s State of the Union speech. Then Koch-funded Kentucky Tea-Party Sen. Rand Paul gave the “ Koch-funded Tea-Party” Republican response. (Did the networks ever air a Progressive Caucus response to Bush’s SOTUs?) They scared people with wild stories of deficits, taxes, job losses and “big government.”
Before going over what they said let’s set the stage with a few items that explain reality (always a good idea before discussing things Republicans say):
Marketwatch, U.S. January budget surplus $3 billion: Treasury
The U.S. government ran a budget surplus of $3 billion in January, the Treasury Department reported on Tuesday, the first monthly surplus since September 2012. The surplus was driven by a 16% increase in revenues compared to January 2012, including from the expiration of a temporary payroll-tax cut at the end of 2012.
Jed Graham in Investors’ Business Daily, The deficit chart that should embarrass deficit hawks:
Here’s a pretty important fact that virtually everyone in Washington seems oblivious to: The federal deficit has never fallen as fast as it’s falling now without a coincident recession.
To be specific, CBO expects the deficit to shrink from 8.7% of GDP in fiscal 2011 to 5.3% in fiscal 2013 if the sequester takes effect and to 5.5% if it doesn’t. Either way, the two-year deficit reduction — equal to 3.4% of the economy if automatic budget cuts are triggered and 3.2% if not — would stand far above any other fiscal tightening since World War II.
Paul Krugman, Hearsay Economics
… [big-media pundits] … certainty that we’re experiencing “explosive” spending growth, which is very much not the case:
Reality: The budget deficit problem is largely solved, and there is no “spending problem.”
The Republican scam is to pretend they are concerned about deficits and debt – but they are the ones who cut taxes and doubled the military budget, which caused the deficits. This is one more manufactured crisis, trying to scare and stampede people to support cutting back on government — which is decision-making of, by and for We, the People –- because We, the People are in their way and demanding a share of the pie.
Here are some things to know as you decide what to think about the two “Tea Party” responses tonite:
1) Austerity (deficit reduction) has never increased economic growth anywhere, ever.
2) Tax increases on the wealthy have never slowed economic growth, anywhere, ever. Economic growth in the US was higher when the top tax rate was 90%.
Sen. Marco Rubio
Florida Senator Marco Rubio gave the first of the Tea Party Republican responses.
Summary of Rubio in the Republican response: “We’ve got deficit and big government trouble right here in river city…”
Rubio began with a couple of wild statements, claiming that President Obama believes that free enterprise is the cause of our problems, and that “major cause of our recent downturn was a housing crisis created by reckless government.”
Rubio’s launched into a diatribe against government. As you read the following excerpts from Rubio’s anti-government rant try substituting variations of “We, the People” for his use of the word government, “We, the People making the decisions” or “We, the People doing things together to make our lives better.”
More government isn’t going to help you get ahead. It’s going to hold you back.
More government isn’t going to create more opportunities. It’s going to limit them.