Friday, November 19, 2010

The hypocrisy of the right and the real cost of smaller government


This is the kind of thing that surprises no one, but let's talk about it anyway. 

Chuck Todd from NBC, among others, reports the following from an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll: 

66% of voters in the survey say cutting spending was a "major" reason in their support of a candidate in the midterms, a whopping 70% of adults say they are uncomfortable with cuts to Medicare, Social Security, and defense programs -- which just happen to be the biggest sources of federal spending. Another 59% say they're uncomfortable about raising taxes (on gasoline, for example) or changing the tax code (like eliminating deductions on home mortgages) to reduce the deficit. And another 57% are uncomfortable about raising the Social Security retirement age to 69 by 2075 to reduce the deficit. 

Yup, all these people want smaller government. They just don't want anyone to do anything that would actually make it smaller. 

Hard to believe, but apparently a lot of people vote with limited regard for what their preferred candidates say or fail to say. During the campaign, on election day, and ever since, Republican politicians have been dodging the question about what they would cut to make government smaller to deal with the deficit/debt. And for some reason their supporters let them get away with it. 

Even now, Republican-speaking-points-of-the-moment are that we all need to have an "adult conversation" about what has to go, which is just code for the fact that they still don't want to talk about it. And of course the reason these politicians don't want to talk about it is that they know the people who voted for them don't really want to talk about it. No, these Tea Partiers and fellow travelers think that government will get smaller by a simple act of will or that if there is any pain it will be endured by those who deserve it. 

I'm not surprised. I'm just saying that I hope all those people who think they were voting against incumbents because they believed conservative candidates had an acceptable plan to achieve cuts are having just a little bit of buyer's remorse. 

Turns out those folks you voted for don't have any answers either, at least none you're going to like. And the thing is, they knew they didn't have any answers. Man, who saw that coming and do you feel stupid yet? You got hosed.

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