Posted by: Rick | Monday, June 14, 2010

The Deficit Straitjacket

If there’s one thing Republicans are bad at, it’s responsible budgeting.  Engaging them in a serous discussion of the deficit is like asking O. J. Simpson for marital advice.  Their track record isn’t too good.

That’s why it never made any sense for Democrats to get out front on this issue, at least without first hammering the Bush Administration relentlessly for their tax giveaways, expensive wars and unpaid-for drug benefits.  Now — as Jeremiah Wright would say — the chickens are coming home to roost:

On Saturday night, the White House released a letter Obama sent to congressional leaders of both parties asking for nearly $50 billion in emergency aid to state and local governments to fend off “massive layoffs of teachers, police and firefighters” and to prevent a possible double-dip recession.

“We are at a critical juncture on our nation’s path to economic recovery,” the president warned.  “It is essential that we continue to explore additional measures to spur job creation and build momentum toward recovery, even as we establish a path to long-term fiscal discipline.  At this critical moment, we cannot afford to slide backwards just as our recovery is taking hold.”

The White House had to know that a second stimulus might very well be necessary.  So why didn’t they lay the groundwork for it?

It’s ludicrous that Republicans — and their Blue Dog fellow travelers — have any standing whatsoever on economic matters.

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