As so often, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman went straight to the heart of the matter Sunday, calling out Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan for insisting that concerns about the deficit justify slashing social programs, while at the same time pushing massive tax cuts for the rich, and no cuts to military spending.
Both Mr. Ryan and Mr. Romney, then, are fake deficit hawks. And the evidence for their fakery isn’t just their bad arithmetic; it’s the fact that for all their alleged deep concern over budget gaps, that concern isn’t sufficient to induce them to give up anything — anything at all — that they and their financial backers want. They’re willing to snatch food from the mouths of babes (literally, via cuts in crucial nutritional aid programs), but that’s a positive from their point of view — the social safety net, says Mr. Ryan, should not become “a hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lives of dependency and complacency.” Maintaining low taxes on profits and capital gains, and indeed cutting those taxes further, are, however, sacrosanct.
That “deficit and spending inferno” that Romney warns us about isn’t enough to prompt him to actually, you know, do anything about it. As an independent fact-check by the Associated Press found, the former Massachusetts governor’s economic proposals “don’t support his vow to dampen the debt fire. He proposes to cut taxes and expand the armed forces, putting yet more stress on the budget…”