GOP opens new front in War on Consumer Demand.
The latest Republican plan to reconcile the budget and preserve defense spending extracts even deeper cuts from programs to help the poor and Americans still reeling from the recession.
Although spending levels for the budget were set in the Budget Control Act passed last summer in the deal to raise the nation’s debt limit, Republicans are pushing ahead with another plan that cuts more while trying to prevent the beginning of $600 billion in cuts over 10 years to the growth of the defense budget.
They are doing so because the Super Committee, which was supposed to find $1.2 trillion in cuts on which everyone could agree, failed, leaving the slashing up to a pre-agreed sequestration plan that extracts half the savings from the military.
Food stamps, like unemployment benefits, are one of the best stimulus measures out there. The program is reactive, meaning it kicks in automatically, without the need for congress to get its act together. When the economy is bad or in recovery, the number of food stamp recipients goes up. When the economy is good, the number of recipients falls — automatically. It’s like an economic pressure valve.
Military spending on the other hand isn’t reactive. The spending increases or decreases depending on the whims of congress. It’s not extremely stimulative, because most of the money winds up at the top of the economic ladder, whereas food stamps benefit everyone on every rung of that ladder.
Besides, our military is bloated to the point of absurdity as it is. What Republicans propose is corporate welfare, nothing more. And they’re willing to literally take food out of the mouths of families to do it.
Conservatives like to compare liberals to fascists and nothing points out how ludicrous that comparison is better than issues like this. After all, who is it promoting the “guns not butter” policies again?
But the worst of it is that this will blow a hole in consumer demand. Fewer people spending money will weaken the economy — since the economy is just people spending money. It’s a win-win for the GOP: they get to keep handing out taxpayer money to fabulously wealthy donors and sabotage the economy at the same time.