Dissent Of The Day

A reader writes:

From your blog entry  about the tea parties:

"Protesting government spending is meaningless unless you say what you'd cut."

Isn't that holding them to a higher standard than that to which you're holding the Administration?  If anything, the party that holds the reins of power should be subject to a higher standard.

The budget shows a structural deficit (even post recession), with spending over the next several years running at 22 - 23 % of GDP and tax revenue running at 18 -19 % of GDP.  The problem is neither high spending nor low taxes; it's the combination of the two.  The Administration and the Democrats are not being honest about how they will fix the problem; neither are the Republicans.  Any solution that will honestly address the problem is going to be hugely unpopular, and the first side that moves is going to be demagogued by the other.  (Just as with conventional wisdom about contract negotiations: the side that first proposes a number is at a disadvantage.)  You can be, and have been, honest; they haven't and won't.

So the Administration takes credit for all the goodies included in the budget without being responsible about paying for it, and the Republicans indulge themselves with this mindless theater of the tea parties.  The Administration won't address how they might raise taxes on the middle class anymore than the Republicans will address where they would cut spending.  Let's criticize them both, while recognizing that neither side is going to be honest without protection from the other.