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Spending Freeze? Are You Serious?

There are so many things wrong about this proposed “spending freeze” it’s hard to know where to start.  First off, it never works as long as you have over 50% of the federal budget going to the military, with an additional $130 billion plus going to wars in the Mideast.  The only way to make a significant reduction in the budget is to cut military expenditures, and we all know that ain’t going to happen.  Second off, we’re still very much in a severe recession with mass unemployment.  Spending freezes are only going to aggravate that situation.  If you don’t believe me, ask the ghost of Herbert Hoover.  Third, if what you are trying to do here is placate the right-wing whack jobs, that’s nonsense.  None of them really give a shit about the deficit — Reagan, Bush I and Bush II all ran up huge deficits and you didn’t hear a peep out of them then.  And Clinton actually balanced the budget and decreased the deficit — and for that, the right-wingers impeached him!  So if you think conservatives actually care about the deficit, you are indeed an idiot.

And probably what’s most absurd about this whole idea is that if you really, really want to do something about the deficit there is one very easy, very obvious solution.  You raise taxes!  And you can easily do that without effecting over 98% of the population!  Just raise the marginal tax rate on the richest Americans — hell, if you are making over $250,000 per year you’ve got more money than you can possibly spend anyway.  At the very least, do away with the Bush welfare-for-the-rich tax cuts.  Or hell, conservatives worship at the altar of Ronald Reagan, so why not take the marginal rate back to that golden age when it was 50%?  How can any Reaganomics fan oppose that?  Or if you really are serious about reducing the deficit, why not revert back to the 70% marginal rate for the wealthiest Americans that was in place during the good old days of LBJ?  I for one was around back then, and I can guarantee you that the rich folks weren’t suffering at all with that rate.  In fact, they were doing just as well as they are today, just maybe without quite the degree of ostentatiousness we see these days.

Once again, it’s hard to figure out what Obama is really up to here.  He’s clearly smart enough to know all the above, so what’s the real strategy?  Ultimately the economy has to improve quickly, or we’ll be back to the old failed policies of the Republicans, which will put the country right back into the death spiral it was in when Obama took office.  And this policy in no way does anything for the economy, and in fact runs a high risk of just making things worse.  With the midterm elections looming this year, time is starting to run out for Obama.