It should probably come as no surprise, given the recent descent of the Republican Party into the “Party of No,” that a discredited economic theory named after a B-movie actor now stands as a pinnacle of intellectual achievement compared to the current GOP policy agenda.
Krugman gives the short version of the new “pledge” as follows:
“Deficits are a terrible thing. Let’s make them much bigger.”
Referring to the only substantive policy proposal in the pledge, making the Bush tax cuts permanent, which “independent estimates say would add about $3.7 trillion to the debt over the next decade,” Krugman continues:
‘Howard Gleckman of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has done the math. As he points out, the only way to balance the budget by 2020, while simultaneously (a) making the Bush tax cuts permanent and (b) protecting all the programs Republicans say they won’t cut, is to completely abolish the rest of the federal government: “No more national parks, no more Small Business Administration loans, no more export subsidies, no more N.I.H. No more Medicaid (one-third of its budget pays for long-term care for our parents and others with disabilities). No more child health or child nutrition programs. No more highway construction. No more homeland security. Oh, and no more Congress.” ‘
While there’s no risk that the GOP could ever actually enact this nonsensical policy pledge, Krugman concludes that the real danger is “that Republicans will gain just enough power to make the country ungovernable, unable to address its fiscal problems or anything else in a serious way … banana republic, here we come.”
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