More GOP Fiscal Insanity

Jonathan Weisman reports:

The House passed three separate tax cuts yesterday and plans to approve a fourth today, trimming the federal revenue by $94.5 billion over five years — nearly double the budget savings that Republicans muscled through the House last month. GOP leaders portray the tax bills — for the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast, affluent investors, U.S. troops serving in Iraq and taxpayers who otherwise would be hit by the alternative minimum tax — as vital to keeping the economy rolling. “Our economic policies have done the trick,” said Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio). “We are in the middle of one of the strongest economies this country has ever seen.”

Strongest economies we have ever seen? Not to toot our own horn, but there are 3 Angrybears who know better. Now for some sanity as Mr. Weisman reports:

But some budget analysts say the flourish of tax cutting badly undermines the recent shows of fiscal discipline. Last month’s budget-cutting bill would save $50 billion over five years by imposing new fees on Medicaid recipients, trimming the food stamp rolls, squeezing student lenders and cutting federal child support enforcement. “I don’t think it makes any sense to go through all the difficulty they just went through with the budget-cutting bill, then give it all back in tax cuts,” said Robert L. Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan budget watchdog group. “If they want to cut taxes, fine, but they are going to have to cut spending by at least that much to help the deficit, and clearly they are not willing to do that. They have to start looking reality in the face.”

It’s time to toot the horn for Max Sawicky who provides the evidence that backs Mr. Bixby’s argument up and then some.

Update: Kevin Drum thanks Sam Rosenfeld as reports on the political stunts and Bush cheerleader headlines on this issue:

Here’s the deal: congressional Republicans have cleverly split next year’s budget bill (technically a “spending reconciliation” bill) in half. In the first half they cut spending and in the second half they cut taxes. The overall result is to increase the deficit, but by splitting the bill in two they make that less obvious. Will our nation’s headline writers fall for this trick? You be the judge. Here was the Post’s headline for the first half of the bill:

Senate Passes Plan to Cut $35 Billion From Deficit
And here’s their headline for the second half:

House Passes 3 Tax Cuts, Plans a 4th:
Cost Would Outstrip Recent Action on Deficit

While Kevin and Sam are somewhat pleased with the subheading for the second half, Kevin suggests this headline:

Senate Passes Plan To Add $94 Billion To Deficit
Planned Tax Cuts Would Far Outstrip Recent Spending Cuts