Posted by Brad @ 1:03 pm on January 24th 2011

Where are the Progressive Deficit Hawks?

Asks Don Taylor (via the Daily Dish). His points make an intuitive sense. We talk a lot about Republican hypocrisy on not raising taxes or not being specific enough on spending cuts, but the truth is Republicans are incentivized in such a way that, frankly, if the federal government goes broke, they’re more or less okay with that outcome. This was a popular progressive thought in the 00s – not even starving the beast, but the sheer fact that Republicans, out of office, win on pointing out where government isn’t working, so, in office, they don’t exactly have much of an incentive to get everything running smoothly. If everything goes tits up – “see, we told you big government sucks!”

Versus for progressives, if the government is unable to fund its priorities, its usually gonna be liberal priorities that go under the gun. And yet, progressives are, largely, as silent on the issue as Republicans (N.B., repealing Republican tax cuts won’t get it done), perhaps because the liberal imagination mostly confines budget-balancing to a matter of more progressive taxation. There is not, beyond that, any sense of choices, or any sense of urgency on budgetary matters, which feeds into the cycle where fiscal hawkishness doesn’t matter until it does, at which point progressives lose.

1 Comment »

  1. There aren’t a lot of really prominent progressive politicians who have real deficit solutions, but there are a number of public commentators who are reasonably up-front in their approach. Usually the solutions include very substantial defense cuts, particularly in overseas deployments/occupations, and/or a VAT.

    Comment by Rojas — 1/24/2011 @ 3:17 pm

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