Who is crying now?

That may sound like a 1950’s pop song (slow dancing…), but in this case it describes the GOP talking about spending deficits.

Bernie Horn, of The Campaign for America’s future, writes in Truthout:”Here it comes – an avalanche of misleading and mistaken “facts” about President Obama’s budget.

Last week, the House and Senate Budget Committees approved versions of the fiscal 2010 budget resolution, working from an extraordinary proposal by Barack Obama. The House version is fairly close to what the President proposed, while the Senate bill is a bit different – but still 98 percent of what the President requested. This week, the budget will come to the floor of the House and Senate, including votes on a series of amendments to slash or weaken progressive programs… The mud of fabrication and misinformation is so deep, we’ll have to peel it off in layers.

Huge Hypocrisy

First and foremost, conservatives are being supremely hypocritical about deficits and debt because their deficits caused the current national debt. Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts for the rich and profligate military spending tripled the national debt. George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the rich and war spending doubled the national debt. In fact, nearly 80 percent of the current debt – about which conservatives now bitterly complain – was caused by the three most recent conservative presidents: Reagan, Bush Senior, and Bush Junior.

Adding insult to injury, Republican budgets have been notorious for containing gimmicks designed to hide the full extent of their irresponsibility – the most egregious was funding the Iraq war with special appropriations outside of the budget.

This year, President Obama changed all that. His budget described a comprehensive plan covering 10 years. It included contingency funds that may or may not have to be spent. It was, quite simply, the most honest budget ever…three big lies about revenues. Obama is not “proposing the largest tax increase in history.” He is proposing to restore a measure of tax fairness by letting George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the rich expire next year. He is proposing to return to the tax policies that were in place during America’s great economic expansion of the late 1990s. Under the Obama program, only the rich will see their taxes increase – those with incomes over $250,000 per year. For all the rest of us, our tax rates will decline. In fact, Obama’s plan will deliver the largest middle-class tax cut in history.     Similarly, Obama’s plan is not “aimed at taxing small-business people.” This talking point is based on a fictional definition of a small businessperson invented by the Bush Administration… And I’ll bet you’re wondering, what is this “massive new national sales tax on your electric bill”? There is none. This is right-wing framing for the “cap-and-trade” system that experts insist is the only practical way to get a handle on global warming. This system forces companies to pay for their pollution, thereby encouraging clean, green technologies.

So to review the conservative tax trickery, the truth is that Obama’s budget delivers a substantial tax cut to 95 percent of Americans. The only ones who will see their taxes increase are the wealthy – and the corporate polluters!… If we spend to build the American economy, long-term deficits will go down. If we don’t spend, the recession will linger and deficits will skyrocket. It’s as simple as that.

And that brings us to the false argument that cutting the current budget is good for “our children.” If we don’t invest in our nation’s infrastructure, if we don’t restructure the pathetic economy handed down to us by George W. Bush and his conservative allies, if we don’t create a sustainable health care system, if we don’t take necessary steps to achieve energy independence and fight global warming – then we will be placing a terrible burden on our children. For them, and for us, we’ve got to change course, now….No doubt the GOP will offer one or more alternative budgets on the House and Senate floors later this week. No doubt they will be just like the alternative Republican stimulus packages in February – full of tax cuts for the rich and spending cuts for the rest of us.

The bottom line is: Conservatives caused this mess and now are running away from any responsibility for cleaning it up.”


The writer is a Senior Fellow at Campaign for America’s Future and author of the recent book, “Framing the Future: How Progressive Values Can Win Elections and Influence People.”

see: http://www.truthout.org/033109R

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