Klein, Hodes and others completely ignore the fact that Republican candidates for the House and Senate, and especially the Tea Party movement in general, universally advocate massive federal spending cuts. No Republican candidate for federal office this year that I’m aware of is saying Washington should extend the Bush tax cuts while also keeping federal spending going at the same rate President Obama and Nancy Pelosi have set. But that’s what would have to happen for the federal deficit to nearly double in 10 years, according to the CBO.
So when Klein writes that Republicans and Tea Party activists “support the single-largest increase in the deficit that anyone of either party has proposed in memory,” he is completely wrong. They don’t support it, and no one has proposed it. What they support, and have proposed, is extending the Bush tax cuts while simultaneously passing sharp reductions in the federal budget.
It’s easy to see why they don’t deal with this issue honestly. If they did, they wouldn’t be able to claim that Republicans want to double the federal deficit. Alas, Republicans have been slow to call them on this sleight of hand. They should do it loudly and often. If they don’t, they risk being falsely painted as advocates of further increasing the federal deficit going into an election in which the deficit is a major concern. Sure, it’s a good year for the GOP, but why let the left get away with a charge that is so easily refuted?
Andrew Cline is editorial page editor of the New Hampshire Union Leader.
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