Good. Surplus Bad.
May 10, 2003
By Japhy Ryder
for the sinister reason why Bush is so adamant about his tax
cut? Sure he wants to pay off his big campaign contributors,
and yes, itís always nice for him to help the rich get richer.
The supply side theory is tenuous at best and most of those
pushing for the tax cut know this. That is simply how they
package it, it isnít the real motive.
The real motive is that Republicans like deficits. Sure a
surplus means that the economy is going along well, and thatís
good, and allows them to cut taxes. But thereís more to being
a good Republican than simply cutting taxes. More importantly,
thereís cutting spending.
By having a perpetual deficit, they are able to harp on the
cut spending mantra all the way along cutting programs that
arenít ďnecessaryĒ. Having a deficit ensures that some government
spending will need to be cut. Think it is a coincidence that
the surplus came about during a Democratic administration?
Bush is pushing so hard for his tax cuts, not because he
genuinely believes it is going to help spur the economy. He
knows better than that. Supply side theory has been proven
to be counter productive. Heís pushing for the tax cuts so
that the deficit becomes perpetual and the cutting of government
programs becomes perpetual too. Why so much emphasis on cuts
years down the road? So that even if somehow a Democrat is
able to win back the White House or maybe even Congress, they
will be forced into making cuts, rather than increasing spending
on certain programs.
Now, of course, these cuts wonít affect Defense. The cuts
will be made in entitlements, medical care, arts funding,
anything and everything that Republicans donít like. A deficit
allows them to bite their lip and ďGolly, I sure wish we didnít
have to cut unemployment compensation, but look at the deficit?Ē
The Balanced Budget Amendment during the Clinton years was
their way of trying to restrain any spending of the surplus
that was coming. Isnít it odd that there is precious little
talk from the Congressional Republicans about the BBA these
days? It is because running a deficit makes it much easier
for them to achieve their funding goals and their moralist
And itís win-win-win for the future of the Republican party.
Say the Democrats do regain power in a couple of years. Well,
then they are faced with a huge deficit, and have three options:
a) raise taxes to bridge the gap; b) cut spending to bridge
the gap; or c) increase spending and increase the deficit
more. Any of these options benefit the Republicans and they
know it. Raising taxes is always unpopular. Cutting spending
hurts Democrats with their core voters. Increasing the deficit
gives Republicans more of what they want.
Letís hope the Democrats in Congress are able to stand up
to this, and help the future of their party.