The Big Lie On Fiscal Conservatism
Perhaps my favorite moments in the speech were the parts where the President had the temerity to mention that "fiscal conservatives" don't give a damn about being fiscally conservative.
Part of the reason I faced a trillion dollar deficit when I walked in the door of the White House is because too many initiatives over the last decade were not paid for – from the Iraq War to tax breaks for the wealthy. I will not make that same mistake with health care [...]
Add it all up, and the plan I’m proposing will cost around $900 billion over ten years – less than we have spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and less than the tax cuts for the wealthiest few Americans that Congress passed at the beginning of the previous administration.
Sarah Palin lashed out at this by saying that the President hates 9/11 (no link because I don't want to validate her), which proves they've got absolutely nothing to rebut this. I'm not Andrew Sullivan's biggest fan, but he nailed this a couple days ago.
If you believe in fiscal conservatism, the last place on earth you should look for salvation is the GOP. They have single-handedly destroyed America's finances since the 1980s, with the sole exception of George H W Bush, who was rejected by his own party precisely because of his fiscal sobriety. The current debt is overwhelmingly inherited by Obama, and it would have been nuts to enter office in the downdraft of the sharp recession and set about cutting spending. Bush had eight years to restrain it and he didn't. He let it rip. Think of the GOP's phony concerns about the cost of the current healthcare bill and compare it with the GOP's prescription drug entitlement that Rove rammed through the Congress when the GOP held total power. The costs then were about eight times as great as the proposed costs now. But that was a Republican measure and so it doesn't somehow count as evidence of fiscal irresponsibility. But Nancy Pelosi only has to raise an eye-brow and the alarms go off.
You cannot say this enough. The fiscal scolds who only pop up under Democratic Presidents are out of their minds if they think progressives should let them get away with their selective outrage designed entirely to forestall a progressive agenda. They have no credibility.
...John Dingell on this. In general Democrats have been very feisty today:
Q: Republicans, though, say that the bill explodes the deficit after 10 years because the revenues don't keep pace with spending growth.
A: Well, I'll give you several answers. First, that's fully consonant with Republican practices. They did it all the time, and can speak with authority to the evil of it. But that doesn't mean it's so. I don't honestly believe that's the case [that deficits expand], and the work has not been concluded. But if this is as factual as some of the other things they've said about the bill, I wouldn't pay too much heed.