Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fiscal Faux-Conservatives...

In a review of a new study published in the journal Health Affairs, David Leonhardt throws down a pretty rigid gauntlet of fiscal challenges for the country, and particularly republican politicians:

"We are now in a political campaign in which everyone seems to talk about cutting spending without offering many ideas for how to cut spending. When the campaign ends, all that talk won’t balance the budget. Neither will cutting waste, fraud, abuse and foreign aid. Nor will ending the war in Afghanistan and the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

Policies like those can help shrink the deficit, yes. Raising taxes and tweaking Social Security can help even more. But you probably can’t call yourself a fiscal conservative unless you are willing to support changes — that is, cuts — to Medicare"

His link goes back to a recent piece he wrote about how unwilling republicans are to own up to the fact that their campaign promises and rhetoric are completely inconsistent.

The Democrats of course haven't offered any huge plans to reduce spending - I give them credit for passing comprehensive health care legislation, but that is truly a baby step towards introducing the powerful incentives the system will require if the subsidy is to remain affordable. Instead, they will surely raise taxes if push comes to shove. This is definitely more honest and responsible than cutting taxes and making superficial changes to spending, ultimately bankrupting the country.

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