I nearly fell out of my chair as I read this New York Times headline: "Democrats Push for Plan to Cut Deficit." From the headline alone, I couldn't tell whether this was before, during or after they supported President Barack Obama's intentional, exponential escalation of the deficit to $1.4 trillion.
That's simply immeasurable chutzpah. But just in case you're ready to be taken in yet again by these fair-weather deficit watchdogs, the first sentence of the Times article reveals their true -- and true to form -- motive.
"Faced with anxiety in financial markets about the huge federal deficit and the potential for it to become an electoral liability for Democrats, the White House and Congressional leaders are weighing options for narrowing the gap, including a bipartisan commission that could force tax increases and spending cuts."
Those elections have a stubborn habit of forcing even drunken sailor politicians to pretend to care about other people's money they otherwise have an unlimited appetite for squandering.
But wait; I thought concern about runaway federal spending was the concern only of those "tea party" protestors the administration has dubbed "potential domestic terrorists" who were carrying "political paraphernalia" -- copies of the U.S. Constitution -- and engaging in "right-wing extremist chatter" focused "on the economy."
No, we're supposed to believe the Democrats care about deficits again, the ones Obama is planning on expanding to between $9 trillion and $13 trillion over the next decade.
We've seen this pattern of deception before. Democrats railed against President George W. Bush's deficits as if they would have curbed federal spending if they had been in power. (We happen to know the rest of that story, don't we?) When Bush fulfilled ahead of time his 2004 campaign promise of cutting the deficit in half in five years, Democrats mocked his achievement as a temporary blip.
Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney, hands wringing, said: "Only a president with such a historically bad economic record would be this excited about a $248 billion deficit. Under his watch ... record surpluses turned into record deficits as far as the eye can see." It gets even more amusing. The same Associated Press story that contained that quote reported that fueling this Democratic concern over the budget was the Congressional Budget Office projection that the deficit could total $1.76 trillion over the next decade.
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