matthew miller explains it all
"Truth is antidote to GOP." Sounds about right to me.
Proof of the GOP's honesty deficit comes by asking a simple question: What is the Republican position on the right size of government and how to fund it?
Start with basic but poorly understood facts. Seven programs make up 75 percent of all federal spending: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, military pensions, civil service pensions, defense and interest on the debt. That's "big government."
Republicans aren't trying to cut a dime of it but are calling for big increases in every one of these programs. According to the White House, interest on the national debt alone will soar by 66 percent over the next five years, thanks to the red ink oozing from President Bush's budget.
Those "big 7" programs come before you toss in everything from NASA to the national parks to the National Institutes of Health, not to mention homeland security, student loans and farm subsidies -- all things Republicans support, and which take up a goodly portion of the remaining quarter on the federal dollar.
Thus, if you pay heed to their votes and not their words, the Republican critique of "big government" is a pure charade.
...Since the GOP thinks income tax rates should continually be reduced, they obviously believe we should fund activities they support in one of two ways.
First, we can borrow huge amounts from our children (GOP's present plan).
Or, we can at some point raise payroll and other retirement taxes, which means funding government through taxes that impose a greater burden on lower- and middle-income citizens. The income tax, by contrast, is progressive.
Mathematically, these are the only options available, given that Republicans, rhetoric aside, aren't interested in cutting government spending.
This, then, is today's spectacle: "Family values" Republicans are sticking the kids with the bill for current spending while railing fraudulently against the "big government" they support.
Then they attack Democrats for offering the radical idea that we ought to pay for the spending we all agree we want (before we even begin fighting about other things -- like covering uninsured, or helping poor children get better teachers).
If we had a functioning press corps -- one that simply presented these facts again and again -- the fiscal and moral fraud of the GOP position would be self-evident.
Instead, today's press corps chews endlessly over the political jockeying. "Does Bush have Democrats in a bind because they have to talk about repealing his tax cuts?" they ask, rather than laying out the facts that show that Bush's positions are an obvious hoax.
So much for our "adversarial" press! And because the White House knows top editors and producers will think that repeating these tougher questions and analyses would seem too "biased," they can count on "he-said, she-said" coverage to leave citizens confused.
This confusion is the Republican goal.
Hopefully, articles like this will lay to waste the mistaken -- if not outright dishonest -- notion that the defecit can be fixed by eliminating "waste, fraud and abuse."
(via P.L.A. -- be sure to read Dwight Meredith's post, as it corrects a slight error of Miller's)