The Deficit Deal: A Yellow Dog D becomes a Yellow Dog I


Half Moon Bay, Calif.: Jeff Clark's Mavericks Surf Shop 5/16/10

Mike Allen reports at (7/31/11 at 1238) on the shape of the Republican triumph on social policy.  The only positive for the Democrats is that the nation does not have to go through the debt ceiling farce again until after the 2012 election.

We are reminded that if things don’t work out, President Obama can refuse to extend the Bush II tax cuts in December 2012.  But at the root of the stunning list of domestic defeats the president has led us into over the past nine months was his failure – despite his pledges – to do just that in December 2010.

Allen quotes a ‘Well Wired Republican’:

 If the ‘special committee’ actually produces tax reform that eliminates preferences in return for lower rates, [the deal] will be total victory. … [F]or Rs, that is the real opportunity.  The cuts and reversal of the stimulus/pump priming approach are part of the [Democrats] surrender.  The real win is tax reform (that’s the Marshall Plan).…

 ‘Tax reform’, ‘starving the beast’ has always been the end here, so long as the beast was Democratic.

As many on my side of the argument have noted, Obama has given up the only proven method for countering unemployment in favor of a strategy of tax cuts and safety net eliminations that has not worked anywhere at any time.  No where; never.

If you want some hint of how ugly the future looks absent a ‘stimulus/pump priming approach’, contemplate the great depression in the US of the last quarter of the nineteenth century.  It is the responses to that depression — the Progressive Era reforms from environmental and health regulations to graduated taxes according to means — that are the ultimate Tea Party Targets.

For truly, truly I say unto you, ‘Deficits don’t matter’ – to the Rs.  Back to Allen again:

 HOW THE DEBT GREW (graphic above fold of Boston Globe):

–President Obama: $2.4 trillion (includes $1.1 trillion in stimulus and tax cuts)
–President George W. Bush: $6.1 trillion (includes $1.5 trillion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other defense spending, plus $1.8 trillion in tax cuts)
–President Clinton: $1.4 trillion
–President George H.W. Bush: $1.5 trillion
–President Ronald Reagan: $1.9 trillion
–Prior to President Reagan: $1.0 trillion
–Total: $14.3 trillion

The Harvard Law Review has never had a stupid Editor.  Until now I have been willing to stifle my mounting ire about economics and torture and wars of choice in at first the belief, then the hope, that the President saw more deeply than I, had plans not shared with us, that would assuage my fears.

I deluded myself.

I come from a long line of ‘Yellow Dog Democrats’:  D’s who’d rather vote for a yellow dog – and they don’t mean a Golden Retriever – than for a Republican.  But the national Democratic leadership has left me just as Napoleon abandoned his Grand Army to the snow and guerillas as it retreated from Moscow.

In two weeks I will change my voter registration.  Call me a ‘Yellow Dog Independent’.