Kevin Drum says what I've been thinking lately:
Republicans didn't care about the deficit when Reagan was president, they didn't care when Bush Sr. was president, and they didn't care when Bush Jr. was president. They only get religion when a Democrat is president and they need an all-purpose reason to oppose everything Democrats want to do. Is this really too complicated to understand? It's a political tactic -- and a good one! -- not a genuine reaction to anything in the real world. In the real world, stimulus spending is winding down, Medicare was reformed a mere 14 months ago and is solvent for at least another decade, Social Security is solvent for two or three decades, and the deficit is very plainly not a domestic spending problem. It wasn't a problem at all until 2001, and after that it was caused by two gigantic tax cuts, two unfunded wars, and a finance-industry driven recession. If we just let the tax cuts expire, get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and get the economy moving, the medium-term deficit will disappear.No comments please. I'm not in the mood to argue about things that ought to be self-evident.