If I’d placed a bet on the Republican reaction to the Obama Administration’s budget yesterday I’d be a winner. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee was on MSNBC this morning with the standard complaints. (1) There aren’t enough spending cuts. (2) The budget doesn’t sufficiently cut the debt. (3) The budget doesn’t change the debt trend. (4) The budget doesn’t “reform” Social Security and Medicare.
Asked directly if the budget shouldn’t increase taxes for the wealthy in order to reduce the debt, Senator Sessions reverted to GOP dogma — we wouldn’t have to increase taxes if we made more spending cuts. As to the main program thrusts in the President’s spending plan (increased support for manufacturing, transportation and infrastructure investment) Senator Sessions replied that we just don’t have the money for those programs. Translation: Evidently, we must cut government programs in order to maintain the tax benefits for millionaires and billionaires in the Bush Tax Cuts of 2001 and 2003.
It is also apparent that no budget proposal will ever be acceptable to Republicans which doesn’t “reform” Social Security and Medicare. Translation: Privatize. There is a way to quickly pump more revenue into the Social Security Trust Funds, simply raise the earnings cap above the current $106,800. However, that would be an “unacceptable tax increase” for the GOP. Again, it is obviously more important for the Republican members of Congress to protect the incomes of those in the upper reaches of American income brackets than it is to support manufacturing, infrastructure, Social Security, and Medicare.
The intransigence of the GOP on matters concerning the now sanctified Bush Tax Cuts has become repetitious to the point of tedium.