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Conservatives are still practicing voodoo economics

And if you don’t think so, read yesterday’s column by Paul Krugman in the NYT, in which he examines the rather remarkable admission by conservative leaders in congress about the true nature of their supposed worries about deficits and debt.

Here’s one of the most important parts:

For a while, leading Republicans posed as stern foes of federal red ink. Two weeks ago, in the official G.O.P. response to President Obama’s weekly radio address, Senator Saxby Chambliss devoted his entire time to the evils of government debt, ‘one of the most dangerous threats confronting America today.’ He went on, ‘At some point we have to say ‘enough is enough.’

But this past Monday Jon Kyl of Arizona, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, was asked the obvious question: if deficits are so worrisome, what about the budgetary cost of extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, which the Obama administration wants to let expire but Republicans want to make permanent? What should replace $650 billion or more in lost revenue over the next decade?

His answer was breathtaking: ‘You do need to offset the cost of increased spending. And that’s what Republicans object to. But you should never have to offset the cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates on Americans.’ So $30 billion in aid to the unemployed is unaffordable, but 20 times that much in tax cuts for the rich doesn’t count.”

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