Drudge is ballyhooing the following headline from the Washington Post:
(The WaPo article originally had the same headline Drudge used above. It has since been rewritten.)
Obama policies? OH NO! Must be that damn healthcare bill. Or all of those socialist bailouts (which the Republicans are opposed to retrieving)!
Actually the article notes that the “policies” are actually tax cuts — yes, TAX CUTS — for the middle class.
Proposed tax cuts for the middle class account for nearly a third of that shortfall. [...] Obama’s tax-cutting agenda is by far the biggest contributor to those budget gaps, the CBO said.
A rollback of the alternative minimum tax and a continuation of middle class tax cuts left over from the Bush administration. Combined, these tax cuts total around $3 trillion.
Last night, Joe Scarborough tweeted about this article, and I reminded him that the policies the article cites are tax cuts. But then Joe replied that it was Social Security and Medicare causing the debt. Weird. And partly true. But why, then, was Scarborough implying that it’s the president’s fault?
Also, Scarborough suggested that fixing Social Security and Medicare would require grown-ups putting everything on the table. Okay. Sure. I wrote back to Joe and said that “everything” would have to include an increase in the payroll tax. He seemed to suggest that he wouldn’t mind. But I bet 99.9 percent of the Republican Party would throw schizoid embolism if the president (and grown-ups) tried to raise taxes. Actually, Scarborough has said on his show that it’s irresponsible to raise taxes this close to a recession, referring to the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.
As we all know (except for Sarah Palin who had to write it down on her hand) the Republicans love tax cuts. But they refuse to admit that tax cuts add to the deficit and debt. So when they’re cornered about this basic fact of life, they quickly scramble to bring up Social Security and Medicare. See how that works? When in doubt, blame entitlements.
Anyway, we can only assume that if the president were to 1) raise the payroll tax, 2) allow the AMT to trap big chunks of the middle class, and 3) allow middle class tax cuts to expire, Joe Scarborough and Matt Drudge will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the president. Full support and solidarity.