Why Republicans Can’t Propose Spending Cuts

This article, in New York Magazine, is the best explanation I’ve seen yet for why the Republican’s can’t really offer serious ideas for spending cuts:  There really aren’t many options.

As usual, the GOP has based their case on illusions, untruths and sound bite cliches….

I’m a firm believer that the government actually needs to spend more on infrastructure and social programs.  The cuts should come from closing down George Bush’s wars of choice, unnecessary defense spending- that even the Pentagon says is unnecessary- and better management.

And, yes, raise the taxes on the rich and close loop holes that the rich and corporations use to avoid paying their fair share.  End subsidies to big oil and  corporate agribusiness.

The big opportunities are on the revenue side and with ending corporate welfare…..

From NY Magazine:

Republicans think government spending is huge, but they can’t really identify ways they want to solve that problem, because government spending is not really huge. That is to say, on top of an ideological gulf between the two parties, we have an epistemological gulf. The Republican understanding of government spending is based on hazy, abstract notions that don’t match reality and can’t be translated into a workable program.

Let’s unpack this a bit. We all know Republicans want to spend less money. So the  construction of the debate appears, on the surface, to be a pretty simple continuum based on policy preferences. Republicans like Mitch McConnell say government spending is “out of control” and would, at least ideally, like to bring it into line with revenue entirely through spending cuts. Democrats like Obama endorse a “balanced” solution with revenue and taxes. Right-thinking centrists, like the CEO community and their publicists like Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, think we should cut deeply into entitlement spending while also raising tax revenue. (VandeHei, in a video accompanying his execrable story, asserts, “There’s money to be cut everywhere.”)

There really isn’t money to be cut everywhere. The United States spends way less money on social services than do other advanced countries, and even that low figure is inflated by our sky-high health-care prices. The retirement benefits to programs like Social Security are quite meager. Public infrastructure is grossly underfunded.

via Why Republicans Can’t Propose Spending Cuts — Daily Intelligencer.

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