Fiscal Conservatives They Are Not.

Upon gaining control of the House of Representatives, Republicans immediately moved to make deficit spending easier:

The rules rewrite, which sailed through the House on a strict party-line vote, will also make it easier to increase the national debt by exempting trillions of dollars in GOP priorities from pay-as-you-go rules put in place by Democrats. For example, House Republicans could extend Bush administration tax cuts for the wealthy past their 2012 expiration or create a significant new tax break for businesses without regard for the holes those policies would blow in the nation's finances. [...]

"It's often been said that we don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem," Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.), the new chairman of the Rules Committee, said during debate on the House floor. "These new rules will make it easier to reduce spending rather than increase it."

Of course, Republicans have no real answer for how reducing revenues will decrease spending and thus reduce the deficit. Unfortunately for the GOP, tax cuts don't automatically lead to reduced spending. As the WaPo points out, the net impact of "cut-go" and the tax-cut exclusion is to balloon the deficit, as Republicans pretend that there is a distinction between tax cuts and deficit-financed spending. It probably won't happen, but this should prompt pundits and political observers to disregard Republican calls for deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility. In this universe, the GOP is most concerned with cutting taxes on the rich. Everything else is secondary or irrelevant.

-- Jamelle Bouie

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