Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Monday | April 21, 2003

GOP party of tax cuts. And little else.

Democrats may be out of power in all branches of government, but at least we get to see the GOP turn on itself.

The GOP, though once known as the party of fiscal discipline, still has a few laggard souls who haven't signed on to Bush's "tax cuts solve everything" mantra. These few Senators fought Bush's obscene $726 million tax cut plan, his panacea to solve everything that is wrong with the economy today (much as his first tax cut was supposed to).

Sen. Grassley, chair of the Senate Finance Commitee, cut a deal with these "moderates" -- no deal would be reached on tax cuts now, but when the issue was revisited later this year, the tax cut would not exceed $350 billion.

So get this -- the nation's at war, committed to costly nation building in two nations, facing at least a $400 billion deficit -- and the "moderate" and "common-sense" position is to further starve the treasury.

But for the GOPer wingnuts, even this "compromise" was akin to treason.

Senior Republican lawmakers clashed on Sunday over the size of a tax cut package, with one House leader forecasting the U.S. Congress would pass heftier relief than the $350 billion measure envisioned by the Senate.
The right-wing Club for Growth aired ads bashing GOPer Senate hawks in Ohio and Maine, comparing Sens. Voinovich and Snowe to France (ha ha!) because of their opposition to the great leader Bush.
The ads feature a photo of Mr. Chirac next to a waving French flag with the message the French leader "stood in the way" of efforts to liberate Iraq.

Later, depending on the market in which they air, the ads put images of either Mr. Voinovich or Mrs. Snowe next to footage of the French flag.

Those images are accompanied by audio, which says, "some so-called Republicans like George Voinovich [or Olympia Snowe] stand in the way" of U.S. economic recovery.

On Friday, the Club for Growth described the two senators as "Franco-Republicans," according to Agence France-Presse.

This is hillareous stuff. Especially considering Maine is largely French!
A spokeswoman for Mrs. Snowe told Cox News Service the Club for Growth's ads offend many Maine residents because about a third of the state's population is of French-Canadian descent. She also noted that the head of the state Republican Party quickly denounced the ad campaign.
CEO's of several multinational firms have already urged Bush and his lackeys to tone down the anti-French and German rhetoric, as they see their own sales hit hard by retaliatory boycotts in Europe and the rest of the world. Business Week continues its drumbeat against Bush's budget, calling it "risky business":
Economists Alan Auerbach of the University of California at Berkeley and William G. Gale of the Brookings Institution estimate a long-term fiscal deficit of between 4% and 8% of GDP -- a level not seen since the U.S. was paying off the cost of World War II. They reckon it will require tax hikes or spending cuts of 20% to 38% to bring the budget back into balance.

And the longer you look into the future, the worse the numbers get. In 2040, even the White House estimates that deficits will skyrocket to 8.8% of GDP. By 2060, they'll double again, to 17.5%, if nothing is done.

Moore and others argue that the only solution is to grow out of deficits. That's the theory behind big tax cuts. But a recent study by the Congressional Budget Office suggests that the Bush budget would create little or no growth premium. Why? Because the tax cuts aren't offset by spending reductions or increases in other taxes. And the huge resulting deficits would shift trillions of dollars from productivity-enhancing private investment to Treasury bonds as the debt piles up.

Posted April 21, 2003 12:27 AM | Comments (73)


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