Deficit-Deluded Tea Party Republicans Love the Sequester Scheme
The delusions of tea party Republicans are about to create a lot of misery for America. The “sequester” — the drastic set of budget cuts formerly known as the “fiscal cliff” — seems very likely to go into effect at the end of this week due in no small part to the fact that hyper-conservative lawmakers, such as Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, actually think it’s a pretty swell idea.
Their obsessive and mistaken belief that the federal deficit is the greatest threat to the republic is leading them to block any compromise with Democrats that would delay or repeal the looming budget reductions.
They want government to get smaller and smaller, even if the cuts will come too quickly and slash too indiscriminately. The supreme absurdity of their position is that this could so damage the American economy that federal revenue will drop and deficit reduction will become even harder to achieve.
The tea party folks may be sincere, loyal citizens, but their notions about how the economy works are exactly that: mere notions. Their core notion is that government needs to do nothing more than get out of the way of business in order for the economy to boom and bloom.
In an 18th century world or in the fiction of Ayn Rand that might have worked, but the reality is different. The United States became the world’s biggest economy in the post-World War II years for many reasons, but one big reason is that government played a pivotal role.
Government built infrastructure like the interstate highway system, paid for crucial research and development, ran the space program, supported a massive military and played referee in the financial realm so that those who wanted to rig the system could not do it as easily as they had in the 1920s.