Eugene Robinson wrote a great article for PennLive about the myth of Republicans as the party of fiscal responsibility. The Republican Congress is pushing Trumpcare before the Congressional Budget Office has had a chance to estimate how much the measure will cost.
“It’s time to put an end to the myth that Republicans believe in fiscal responsibility. Saving taxpayer dollars takes a back seat to the ideological imperative of blaming and shaming the poor.”
“When you ask Republicans what they’re going to cut, they mention foreign aid — which totals about $35 billion, or slightly less than 1 percent of federal spending.
They threaten to eviscerate smaller agencies by cutting $6 billion here or $8 billion there — but at the same time, they applaud Trump’s pledge to increase the $600 billion defense budget by an incredible 10 percent.
They’re going to end up spending more — perhaps lots more — and collecting less in tax revenue. And this is the party that claims to care about deficits and debt?
But wait, Republicans say, we’re going to “save” the big entitlement programs by trimming benefits. Yeah, sure. I’m not holding my breath.
The problem is that Medicare and Social Security serve middle-class and upper-crust taxpayers, including many who share the GOP’s punish-the-poor belief system. If you think these ACA-focused town halls are hostile, just you wait.
The fact is that among recent administrations, at least, Democratic presidents have been the relative skinflints. Bill Clinton, you will recall, actually balanced the budget — and yes, he had help from Republicans in Congress.
Barack Obama spent heavily at first to save the economy, which was teetering on the edge of a dreadful abyss, but he ended up slashing the deficit in half and presiding over years of uninterrupted economic growth.
George W. Bush, on the other hand, fought hugely expensive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq without accounting for them in his budgets.
He also convinced Congress to expand Medicare to cover prescription drugs, which was compassionate but costly.
Trump promises to be even more of a big spender. Among other things, he promises a trillion-dollar program to renew the nation’s infrastructure. Imagine the Republican howling if Obama had suggested such a thing.
The GOP will surely persist in its sanctimony about balanced budgets, but no one should pay any attention. Republicans, we see what you’re doing.”