• Republicans declared that they wanted to eliminate the $600 million annually going to PBS and NPR. They believe that cutting government funding for television stations (when there are hundreds of channels to choose from) makes sense over cutting education or aid to the handicapped. Congressmen Ed Markey was blabbering in front of a microphone so fast, you would have thought that the end of childhood was near. You might also think he was sleeping with Miss Piggy. If you gave the Dems the option between cutting PBS and eliminating home meals for the elderly, their choice would be easy – neither.
• Republicans announced that they want to reduce funding for a charitable organization, Planned Parenthood, which should really be living off private donations because they presently provide abortions with public money – something that over 70% of Americans say should not take place. Liberals in Congress started to howl, but I for one would like to see their tax returns to find out how much they’ve given to Planned Parenthood in the past five years. But then again, we already know that answer.
Democrats don’t want to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or (surprisingly) Defense. You would think that the left would be itching to eviscerate the Defense budget, but when Republican Congressman John Campbell offered an amendment to cut Pentagon outlays by 2.5%, he was accused of doing a hatchet job. The amendment lost 68-357. Even the most leftist members of Congress will defend the base in their home district until their dying day.
They don’t want to cut the FEC, FCC (actually an increase), NHTSA, NIH, FTC, the ACC or SEC (yes the last two are college conferences.) They made the post office an “independent” agency – that comes begging for money every year. This year, it’s $11 billion! The postal service, which needs to be totally revamped, has asked to close 2,000 post offices, but Congress consistently ignores these requests. All we ever hear about is the coming calamity for “Madge” if the local post office is closed. We will continue to underwrite this outmoded enterprise, which should really be operating out of kiosks at supermarkets and Wal-Marts.
Some Republicans have suggested returning spending to 2008 levels. If you take inflation into account, that would be $600 billion less than Obama proposes for 2012. Would that be so bad? The government seemed to function quite nicely in 2008. In fact, many of us thought that even those spending levels were too extravagant.
So what is the plan for Obama and the Dems? They haven’t said it out loud, but it’s pretty clear that they want to raise revenues (taxes) until they equal expenditures. You can protest all you want, but the fact is that if you don’t want to cut expenditures, you obviously want to raise taxes or continue borrowing from foreign governments. Either way, they want a permanent expansion of government. If they didn’t, why would they be proposing such a gargantuan budget two years after their own people declared the recession to be over?
This is the only conclusion that a rational person can reach – and that’s why their budget plan borders on insanity.
Bernie Sanders and Robert Reich Are Confused by Economics. And Government. And Reality | Seton Motley