Friday, August 31, 2012

The Dems as the party of austerity

Corey Robin argues at some length that the Democrats have become the party of austerity and deficit reduction. I only skimmed through it, but I was struck by a quote Robin has from Jonathan Chait in 2010, pointing out that the Republicans did not pay for their expansion of Medicare prescription drug coverage under G.W. Bush because they had lifted the 'pay-go' rule after taking control of Congress in '01. The Democrats reimposed the pay-go rule when they regained control of Congress, which is one reason why money had to be shifted from Medicare to help fund the Affordable Care Act. So when you hear the Republicans wailing about "raiding" Medicare to pay for Obamacare, recall their own expansion of Medicare prescription drug coverage, which they didn't "raid" anything to pay for because they didn't care about paying for it and indeed had gotten rid of the rule requiring them to do so. So much for the Republicans as the party of fiscal responsibility!

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