There are many ridiculous things about our political discourse these days. Among them is the discussion of long-term federal budget deficit projections, in which the vast majority of Republicans, especially those who have been in office for more than a few years, are doing their best to deny that the Bush Administration ever existed. Take, for example, our junior Senator, John Cornyn.
Matt Yglesias does good service by reminding us of the 2003 Senate vote on Medicare Part D, the budget-busting prescription drugs for seniors bill that passed the Senate 54-44, even though it wasn’t paid for (it adds trillions to the deficit over time). Here’sthe vote: it is interesting to note that the two Gang of Six members who are the most prominent naysayers and budget hawks on the Senate Finance Committee now, Chuck Grassley and Mike Enzi, voted for the bill. As did assorted other noisy conservatives like Sam Brownback, John Cornyn and John Kyl. What irresponsible spendthrifts!
And that’s without taking into account the ginormous and fantastically reckless Bush tax cuts of 2002, which have drained the federal coffers of cash while fattening up the households at the top 0.1% of the income scale, and our grand adventure in Iraq, whose total outlays so far exceed the stimulus package that Cornyn and his ilk so bitterly complained about. Keep all that in mind when you hear Cornyn and his allies in Congress, the punditocracy, and the right-wing blogosphere whine about the cost of health care reform, which among other things is paid for and deficit neutral. They have no credibility at all. Thanks to Steve Benen, who notes some further hypocrisy on the GOP’s part, for the link.