Monday, December 3, 2012

My Debt Reducing Fantasy

A guest post by Richie Jay
I understand that Mitt Romney ran a campaign built upon a foundation of willful lies and intentional vagueness (he lost, but he likely would've lost even worse if he hadn't tacked away from the far right during the debates, and if he had been clear and upfront about his regressive tax and spending priorities), and his debt reduction plan was basically to give additional massive tax cuts to the rich, close some unspecified loopholes, and then, like magic, there'd be rainbows, butterflies, full employment, and a balanced budget.

But now that we're actually approaching something with the terribly misleading name, "The Fiscal Cliff," and the presidential campaign is officially over, you'd think the Republicans could get serious about actual fiscal policy, especially because they claim to be very concerned about the national debt. So, after Obama puts out his actual plan to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire on the wealthiest Americans, and to reduce spending in specified areas, Boehner replies that this is not a serious plan (he called it a "La-la-land offer," in fact). So Obama challenges Boehner to put up an alternative.

And what does Boehner do? He basically reintroduces the Romney-Ryan plan: Deeper cuts to government programs, disproportionately hurting the poor and working class, and, you guessed it, unspecified changes in tax policy (closing loopholes, limiting deductions) that are supposed to raise a bunch of money, but since we aren't allowed to know which ones, we can't know if this is true, and we can't know who will face the burden of these changes.

The worst offenders, however, are the media, who will surely pretend that this is an actual plan, a true and reasonable counter-proposal to Barack Obama's budget. And there'll be pundit debates on the tee-vee over which plan is better, with equal time given to each one: Obama's with real numbers, or Boehner's less arithmetic-y version (math is hard!). And, of course, they'll bring up Simpson-Bowles, which never actually agreed on a plan (thanks, Paul Ryan!), and what ideas they did come up with are right out of the traditional pro-austerity Republican playbook. (Even Obama's plan is no liberal dream, but at least it's an actual plan).

So as long as we're living in a non-reality-based universe, I've got a fool-proof proposal to solve America's 'debt crisis': Unicorns that fart $100 bills. That's right. I'm talking a whole Texas-sized prairie filled with farting unicorns. Then we just collect all those $100 bills, give them a good sanitizing, and -- boom -- just like that, budget balanced, jobs created (unicorns are very high maintenance), precipice averted, and world's greatest petting zoo established (watch out for the horn, though).

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