Letter: The GOP is the party of deficits
"Republicans are caught in a double bind," Fargo resident Joel Davy writes. "They must cut taxes because that’s their campaign promise but can’t cut popular government programs."
So, Republicans are holding the country hostage by refusing to increase the federal debt limit unless they get major cuts to government spending. They claim this is because they are worried about our runaway national debt. That’s ironic because Republicans are the party of deficits and debt.
Republicans favor tax cuts (especially for the wealthy). They claim they want to cut government programs but have been unable to do so. The result is large deficits when Republicans are in charge.
So why can’t Republicans cut government programs?
The Republican campaign mantra is a strong defense. Therefore, they give the military everything they ask for and more. Republicans can never cut the defense budget even though this is where the real money is and it’s clear much of the spending is unnecessary and wasteful.
The other federal programs that could be cut to balance a budget after Republican tax cuts are programs that Americans from both parties want and would raise holy hell if they were cut. So they never cut these either. These include programs such as Social Security and Medicare. George W. Bush tried to privatize Social Security during his administration, which was highly unpopular and died a quick and quiet death. Last year Republican Sen. Rick Scott proposed to sunset Social Security and Medicare every five years, but that proposal went about as well as Bush’s privatizing proposal.
All that’s left to cut are the government programs such as scientific research, National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, PBS, NPR, poverty programs and foreign aid. These result in little savings since they are a small fraction of the overall budget.
The result is Republicans are caught in a double bind. They must cut taxes because that’s their campaign promise but can’t cut popular government programs. Therefore: deficits.
Republicans like to accuse Democrats of “tax and spend” but at least the tax part of the equation indicates a desire to pay for the spending whereas the Republicans, by not raising appropriate taxes to fund government, are now the party of “borrow and spend.”
Joel Davy is a resident of Fargo.
This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.