In the weeks before the Republicans shut down the government, they were demanding that the Affordable Care Act be defunded or delayed.
Shortly after they shut down the government, however, the Republicans switched demands.
Now, in exchange for reopening the government and not causing the country to default on its obligations, the Republicans are demanding that we address our debt and deficit problem.
Our deficit has actually been shrinking fast this year and our debt is not in any way an immediate crisis. Thanks to our rapidly shrinking deficit, in fact, our debt as a percentage of GDP is actually expected to drop over the next three years. But, still, the Republicans are suddenly portraying the debt and deficit as an immediate crisis that has to be dealt with immediately or… the country will default because the Republicans will refuse to raise the debt ceiling.
Given this sudden Republican fervor about debt and deficits, it seems odd that the Republicans are also insisting on one additional demand to re-open the country and avoid default:
The government, the Republicans have said, must agree to delay or eliminate the “medical device tax.”
This tax is expected to raise $US30 billion of revenue over the next 10 years.
Eliminating this tax, therefore, will of course balloon our deficit and debt by the same amount (that’s what happens when you eliminate revenue).
But for some reason, the Republicans don’t care about that (or at least aren’t being vocal about the demand that particular spending be cut as an offset).
Could this be because the Republicans actually don’t think the debt and deficit is that big a deal?
After all, if the Republicans really thought the debt and deficit were such a near-term crisis that they’re worth shutting down the government and defaulting over, don’t you think the Republicans might want to avoid doing things that increased the deficit?
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