At a town hall meeting in 2011, Tom Reed is shown discussing a chart which shows the national debt growing unabated until 2080 and beyond. Tom used this chart repeatedly to illustrate his contention that government spending should be cut to keep the government solvent. Republicans even allowed the sequester, which all agreed was not the best way to cut spending, to take effect. Tom has long insisted that cutting the deficit by cutting spending is one of his priorities. Tom even insisted that the government cut spending for much needed food stamps–SNAP.
Republicans have insisted that increased funding for any program must be offset by reduced funding for another. But no more. With the deficit much reduced–inevitable with economic recovery–Tom and his fellows have stopped talking about cutting the deficit. Instead they have turned their attention to making it larger.
- Republicans have passed numerous bills making tax cuts, which were intended to stimulate the economy in the depths of the Great Recession, permanent, even though they say stimulus “doesn’t work.”
- The 2014 cromnibus bill allocated more spending for the military than the military wanted.
- H.R. 644 would increase the federal budget deficit by about $2.2 billion over ten years. Only one Republican, Walter Jones, voted NO.
Republicans have belatedly realized that complaining about the deficit while acting to reduce it isn’t working for them. Instead they have turned to making the deficit larger with corporate tax breaks and military spending so they will have more to complain about.
Republicans, wanting to run against deficit spending in 2016, are now intent on making their prediction of economic disaster of 2011 a self-fulfilling prophecy by doing what they can to prevent further reductions in the deficit.
© William Hungerford – February 2015