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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

True colors

by folkbum

The Republican wave last month seemed predicated on two things: a distaste of corruption and insider politicking, and an absolute loathing of deficit spending.

In that spirit, you might expect that the newly-installed leadership of the Republicans in Congress would eschew lobbyist connections and tighten deficit spending rules. Instead, the opposite has happened:
Many incoming GOP lawmakers have hired registered lobbyists as senior aides. Several of the candidates won with strong support from the anti-establishment tea party movement.

These cases illustrate the endurance of Washington’s traditional power structure, even in the wake of an election dominated by insurgent rhetoric. In addition to hiring lobbyists, many newly elected House Republicans have begun holding big-dollar fundraisers in Washington to pay off debts and begin preparing for 2012.

The Republicans have a new plan to make it easier to rack up deficits: Looking ahead to controlling Congress, Republicans again propose to eliminate Paygo, as they did under Bush. But this time they propose to replace it with a different rule, Cutgo, which would require that new spending be offset with spending cuts. That would indeed be an effective way to limit new spending programs. Of course, it would retain the ability to pass tax cuts with no offsets whatsoever. The decision once again reflects the core Republican belief that tax revenues do not need to bear any relationship to expenditures.
Lobbyists gutting Wall Street regulation, deficits through the roof--it will be like 2002 all over again.

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