Obama borrows GOP playbook on federal budget

While Congressional Republicans caterwaul about budget deficits and cutting taxes, Zach Carter at The Media Consortium Economic News Ladder connects the dots on the Obama Adminstration’s rope-a-dope strategy.

While it’s refreshing to see a set of priorities that put economic stability ahead of entrenched corporate interests, Obama’s call to reduce the federal deficit comes as a bit of a surprise. He has inherited a massive recession and defecit.

Over at The American Prospect, Ezra Klein highlights an analysis of spending by Media Consortium alum Brian Beutler. Both bloggers agree that government debt is not a major problem, provided that borrowed funds are used to invest in something meaningful.

Debt can be good if you expect that spending will offer a greater return than saving,” Klein writes. “And right now, because Treasury bonds are the last safe investment, it’s the cheapest it’s been for the government to borrow money in 50 years.”

Republicans are screaming about the enormous deficit that Obama’s budget requires, but most of that debt was passed down by President George W. Bush. Obama has actually taken cues from Congressional Republicans to find funding for financial shortfalls.

Steve Aquino of Mother Jones notes that Obama’s move to raise premiums on Medicare received by wealthy Americans is a longstanding Republican priority. Additionally, Obama’s move to cap the itemized deduction tax subsidy at 28 cents on the dollar would re-establish Reagan-era levels.

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