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It’s The Economy, Stupid

As the unemployment rate continues to hover around the 10% mark with no relief in sight, you have to wonder how much longer the so-called “deficit hawks” are going to hold our country hostage. And so you get stories like this:

WASHINGTON — The Senate easily passed an almost $60 billion war funding bill Thursday, but anxiety over out-of-control budget deficits led House leaders to drop tens of billions of dollars in spending from a separate catchall bill anchored by an extension of jobless benefits.

You know, if you really are concerned about the deficit it seems like the logical thing to do would be to attack the two major causes of that deficit — namely, the Bush tax cuts for the rich which cost this country $2.5 trillion, and the various wars in the Middle East that are costing us another $2.5 trillion. You cut military expenditures significantly, and you put the tax rates on the wealthy back to where they were pre-Bush and voila — no more deficit problem. In fact, it’s more than a little bit ironic that most of these people that are now so concerned about the deficit are the exact same people who elected and supported George Bush. The reality is that these folks really don’t give a damn about the deficit, what they are really concerned about is the idea that the government might do something to help the poor and the middle class. Good old American greed, you just can’t get away from it.

Long term, the real way out of the deficit is to grow the economy, and the way to do that is through major stimulus programs. It seems so obvious — you get the economy back on track, you get more people working and making more money and therefore paying more taxes, and the deficit then takes care of itself. Everyone is happy. Look at what happened during the economic boom of the 1990’s when Clinton was President. Healthy economy, lots of people making lots of money and thus paying lots of taxes, and there you go — a balanced budget. So simple. Heck, if you don’t believe me, how about listening to a Nobel Prize winner who has gotten everything about the economy correct for 20+ years?

It’s past time to tell these “deficit hawks” to STFU and do something positive for the majority of Americans, not just the wealthy few. Come on Congress, you can do it!