Those tax cuts will add far, far more to the deficit than any of the other stuff ... but when it’s for rich people, the deficit isn’t so bad. Is that it? No, say the Republicans in Congress. The tax cuts will pull us out of the recession and generate wealth, which generates spending!

So, let me see if I’ve got the incoming Republican Congress straight: They want to reduce the federal deficit because it is the noose around our economy’s throat.


That’s why they didn’t want to extend unemployment benefits to workers who can’t find jobs in the recession; and that’s why they don’t want to pay for health care for the first responders who were heroes on 9/11; and that’s why they don’t want to help families who can’t keep up with the explosion in health care costs; and that’s why they don’t want to help people keep their homes.

Because fixing the deficit is THAT important. Got it.


Except they wanted to extend tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires that add hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit. In fact, they were so insistent on this that they refused to take up any other business unless those tax cuts were extended.

Those tax cuts will add far, far more to the deficit than any of the other stuff ... but when it’s for rich people, the deficit isn’t so bad.

Is that it?

No, say the Republicans in Congress. The tax cuts will pull us out of the recession and reduce the deficit because they’ll generate wealth, which generates spending! Except they won’t do that, since we’ve had the lower tax rates for the past eight years and, well, they didn’t do that. In fact, they caused the federal deficit to grow exponentially.

Why would we assume that the thing we already did will have the opposite result when we do it again? Well, this time we’ll also be eliminating earmarks. In addition to cutting taxes, we’ll be cutting all the massive federal spending caused by congressmen earmarking spending for their districts. So, problem solved.

Except for the fact that earmarks is a minuscule portion of the federal budget –– much, much smaller than the tax cuts.

I’m good with eliminating earmarks. That’s the one thing the new Republican Congress wants to do, of which I definitely approve –– except they don’t really want to do it. While they were lobbying their colleagues to support a total earmark ban, two outspoken Republican critics of earmarks, Arizona Sen. John Kyle and Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake, slipped a $200 million earmark for Arizona tribes into a larger spending bill.

Sure, they have their justification, but it involves an argument about what is the definition of “earmark.” As if they didn’t know.

Many Republicans are now saying that the meaning of “earmark” is too darn slippery. Of all people, Rep. Michelle Bachman, R-Minn., isn’t sure. I mean, she’s sure she wants to ban them, she just doesn’t know what they are. (You’d think she’d have looked that up).

“This isn’t trying to be too cute by half of what is an earmark and what isn’t,” Bachmann explained to Politico. “We have to address the issue of how are we going to fund transportation projects across the country?”

Well, you could ... you know ... vote for them –– as independent bills, rather than as pork barrel spending attached to military bills and whatnot. Would that be so hard?


Apparently it would, because the Republicans are now scrambling for a way to backtrack without telling the American people, “Just kidding!”

But they are kidding. The deficit is so important that we can’t pay for health care for firefighters injured while serving on 9/11, but not important enough to tax billionaires who wreck the financial system? They want to stimulate the economy by doing exactly what caused the recession? They want to ban earmarks, except they can’t figure out what they are?

In the 1990s, Republican congressmen committing adultery voted to impeach President Clinton for committing adultery. Back then adultery was the biggest threat to our nation ... when somebody else did it. Today, they’re screaming that the deficit will destroy us all while they do everything they can to grow it.

This is what hypocrisy looks like when it can’t make up its mind.

Benjamin Wachs writes for Messenger Post Media in New York. Read more at www.TheWachsGallery.com.