The New York Times on Sunday ran a do-it-yourself federal budget piece, where readers could pick and choose to slash and save items from the nation’s basic spending and revenue columns to solve the politically unsolvable budget crisis. The wags at Gawker solved the budget crisis in minutes and without spending a dime on commercials calling people Nazis and socialists. They simply proposed taking the nation back to the fiscally conservative Clinton years.
How did they do that? The Gawkers simply let the non-job-making Bush tax cuts expire (because they were never meant to be permanent and because most Americans don’t want them extended) and they ended Bush’s (now Obama’s) overseas military adventures, which cost more money every week ($2 billion!) than the Rolling Stones have made in the last forty years, our contemporary version of the Cold War space race taking place not in space but in Afghanistan and Iraq, where the United States is racing only against itself to borrow and spend as much money as possible every single day— almost none of that money spent on the troops who come home wounded and sad and totally screwed up.
The economic policy wonks at Gawker are not very upbeat about the chances that their “commonsense ideas” will be taken up in Washington.
Too bad none of those great, common-sense ideas like “stop spending so much goddamn money on useless wars” and “make rich people pay as much in taxes as they were in the mid-1990s” are politically feasible.