Republicans don’t care about budget deficits, and never did. They only pretend to care about deficits when one of two things is true: a Democrat is in the White House, and deficit rhetoric can be used to block his agenda, or they see an opportunity to slash social programs that help needy Americans, and can invoke deficits as an excuse. All of this has been obvious for years to anyone paying attention.
.. And it was also predictable that they would return to deficit posturing as soon as the deed was done, citing the red ink they themselves produced as a reason to cut social spending.
.. Hatch declared his support for the program, but insisted that “the reason CHIP’s having trouble is because we don’t have money anymore” — just before voting for a trillion-and-a-half-dollar tax cut that will deliver the bulk of its benefits to the richest few percent of the population.
He then went on to say, “I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves, won’t lift a finger and expect the federal government to do everything.”
.. The House version of the big tax cut would eliminate the estate tax entirely; the Senate version would double the level of wealth exempted from the tax, to $22.4 million for a couple. How can this be justified if it’s supposedly hard to find money for children’s health care?
.. The important thing to realize, however, is that the hypocrisy and contempt for the public we’ve seen in the past few days is just the beginning.
.. offsetting those deficits will require going after the true big-ticket programs, namely Medicare and Social Security.
.. Republicans have given their donors what they wanted — and now they’re coming for your benefits.