Posted on 20-10-2010
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

After two years of listening to bloviating politicians and clueless tea partiers proclaim themselves as fiscal conservatives and deficit hawks, here is a checklist on how to find the preening peacock under the hawk’s clothing:

  • They will loudly proclaim their opposition to tax cuts of any kind.  Tax cuts are evidently always job killers, even though the economy did just fine at the Clinton tax rates.
  • They will support tax cuts as a way to magically raise revenue, facts be damned.  They will also deny that the Bush tax cuts helped balloon the deficit.
  • The budget deficit (state or federal) will be somehow be eliminated solely by cutting spending.  However, they will not spell out what spending will actually be cut.
Fiscal Year 2009 U.S. Federal Spending Projections- Cash or Budget Basis.
    • Defense spending is evidently sacrosanct, even though nobody can explain why we need to spend about 40% of the world’s military spending.
    • A few like Paul Ryan will come up with a plan to reform Medicare by essentially not paying medical bills, a plan that has no chance of passing.  Most will not specify exactly what they will cut.
    • Social Security is sometimes a target for privatization or raising the eligibility age.  Yet again few candidates will risk the wrath of older voters (who actually vote) by offering specifics.  It is a separate issue that the problem with Social Security is not the program itself, but the government’s tendency to use the money for other reasons.
    • Most of the ire is focused on the relatively minor amount of discretionary spending (and it will not be possible to eliminate ALL of it), the few billion dollars of stimulus spending which will make no dent on a trillion dollar deficit and items like TARP (which after all the brouhaha will be a fairly small charge (if any) on the Treasury).
  • They will likely be Blue Dog Democrats like Evan Bayh and Blanche Lincoln, Republicans or self professed tea party members.

A few prominent deficit peacocks are noted below:

  • California Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina who frustrated one of the few journalists on Fox News by refusing to answer what exactly cut.

  • California Republican candidate for Governor Meg Whitman whose math for solving the Golden State’s budget problems are as fuzzy as Bill Brady.

  • And just for giggles a compilation of Republicans (including John Boehner and Jeff Sessions) who cannot identify any concrete spending cuts to fix the deficit.  All you get is a dose of blather that they will magically fix the problem.

So there is one final characteristic of a deficit peacock….a lot of hot air.

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