Missing the Obvious

by

Former Bush 43 advisor Bruce Bartlett suggests left and right strike a bargain:

The left would accept that the only purpose of the tax system is to raise revenue and the right would accept that a fairly extensive social welfare state is here to stay. In essence, conservatives would r[a]ise the revenue and liberals would spend it. . .

Over the years, I have asked a number of liberal friends if they would take this deal . . . It seems like a free lunch to me, but I’ve never found a liberal willing to even consider the deal.

I’m not sure what Bartlett’s thinking.  What he describes is pretty much exactly what happened during the Bush administration he was part of.

That’s counter-intuitive because the GOP controlled both revenue and spending for most of the Bush administration.  However, the way they ran things was they raised revenues like conservatives, and spent as if they were liberals.*  (This was what W called “compassionate conservatism.”)

Let’s look at both sides of the equation.

On the revenue side, one of the first things the GOP did when W took office was pass a huge tax cut.  This is not surprising.  This is what American conservatives do.  It’s been dogma on the right for almost 30 years: the only thing you ever do to taxes is cut them.

On the expenditure side, they passed huge social welfare bills like Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind, and bought two money-pit Muslim countries in middle Asia.

Result?

The same as the first time the GOP tried this formula, under Reagan: budget deficits.  Great big ones.

So.

The reason none of Bartlett’s liberal friends will accept a deal in which conservatives raise the revenue and liberals spend it is they know it’s a mug’s game.  In very short order, there would be barely enough revenue to survive.

(* I say this from Bartlett’s point of view, of course.  From my own point of view, they didn’t spend like liberals.  They just spent a lot.)

About these ads

Tags:

3 Responses to “Missing the Obvious”

  1. Bruce Bartlett Says:

    I worked for the good Bush, number 41, not the bad Bush, number 43.

  2. jazzbumpa Says:

    First off, there was no good Bush. They are both aristocratic, elitist bastards.

    Second Bartlett, you are a fool and a scoundrel. You need to read Thomas Paine

    The Rights of Man

    The Rights of Man

    Buy from Amazon

    Or at least Thom Hartman.

    Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class - And What We Can Do about It (BK Currents (Paperback))

    Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class – And What We Can Do about It (BK Currents (Paperback))

    Buy from Amazon

    Then you will know that the primary purpose of taxing the rich is to deter the development of overly powerful oligarchies, and excessive economic disparity, because down that road lies either depression or literal blood in the streets.

    Twit!

    JzB the finally gets it trombonist

  3. Hippos vs Rhinos Says:

    [...] /* */ /* */ Hungry Hungry Hippos [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: