T Nation

Deficit Hawks?

I’d like to know how many of the people who have (in my mind rightfully) pilloried the President and the Republican congress for the deficits now think that the Democratic congress should make deficit reduction a top priority?

I’m guessing that people will magically discover some more important priorties – even some people who were saying, loudly, that the country was going to implode over the deficit ( See here, for example: http://select.nytimes.com/2006/12/22/opinion/22krugman.html?hp=&pagewanted=print or here: http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2006/12/the_deficit_foo.html )

I’m not only cynical about Dems though – I imagine that out-of-power Republicans will re-discover the deficit issue that they managed to ignore for years while supporting “important” spending projects such as the bridge to nowhere or that railroad in Mississippi (reference to a Trent Lott project)…

Good post. And I doubt the Democrats will attack the deficit with any real determination, economic populism seems to be front and center, which I’m of two minds about.

The deficit only matters during an election cycle. This is bi-partisan cynicism.

An easy and relatively painless way to drastically reduce the deficit would be to restore the tax rates for the economic elites, back to the levels they were during Clinton’s presidency.

This would only affect those with incomes above 300,000 dollars a year (I think I have that about right, more or less). This tax rate roll-back would only affect less than .5% (one-half of one percent) of Americans.

This will be impossible for the Democrats politically, because Republicans have spent years hammering on the point that the Democrats are the party that raises taxes. Even though the average person wouldn’t be affected by this tax rollback, it would be a potentially suicidal move for the next elections, so there is little incentive to do it.

I believe that if the Democrats in Congress can reduce federal spending, then the next election cycle will another “thumping” for the GOP.