The Republican Plan with Lipstick

lipstick on a pigRepublicans figure that if they can’t sell the pig, they’ll just put lipstick on it and find some suckers who will think it’s something else.

That’s the proposal emerging in the Senate from Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee and also Democrat Claire McCaskill of Missouri. It would get the deficit down not by raising taxes on the rich but by capping federal spending.

If Congress failed to stay under the cap, the budget would be automatically cut.

According to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the McCaskill/Corker plan would require $800 billion of cuts in 2022 alone. That’s the equivalent of eliminating Medicare entirely, or the entire Department of Defense.

Obviously the Defense Department wouldn’t disappear, so what would go? Giant cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, education, and much of everything else Americans depend on.

It’s the Republican plan with lipstick. It would have the same exact result. But by disguising it with caps and procedures, Republicans can avoid saying what they’re intending to do.

Robert ReichThe McCaskill/Corker spending cap would also make it impossible for government to boost the economy in recessions. Which would mean even higher unemployment, lasting longer.

Other Senate Dems are showing interest in the lipsticked pig, including West Virginia’s Joe Manchin. Not surpringly, Joe Lieberman is on board.

But don’t be fooled, and don’t let anyone else be. McCaskill/Corker is the same Republican pig.

Robert Reich
Robert Reich’s Blog

Published by the LA Progressive on May 2, 2011
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About Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich is Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He has written eleven books, including The Work of Nations, which has been translated into 22 languages; the best-sellers The Future of Success and Locked in the Cabinet, and his most recent book, Supercapitalism. His articles have appeared in the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. Mr. Reich is co-founding editor of The American Prospect magazine.

Reich has been a member of the faculties of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and of Brandeis University. He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College, his M.A. from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and his J.D. from Yale Law School.

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