Both parties must use facts, real math, and honesty while compromising on budgetary issues, in order to achieve the ultimate goal of reducing the deficit. MSNBC’s Martin Bashir had an excellent panel that described the entire budget deficit debate relative to what the parties want and proposed.
The panel had no acrimony or negative superlatives on either party. They simply expressed mathematical facts and historical facts about the budget, the deficit, and how the respective parties are dealing with it.
Sadly, based on the offers on the table it is clear that Republicans continue to hold the middle class and the country hostage to protect a few. They continue to walk back previous offers that would generate more revenue even though from a mathematical stand point that is essential.
The panel consisted of the award winning author/columnist/journalist/reporter Jonathan Alter, and author Julian Epstein. The text and video of most important assertions of the five plus minute dialogue follows.
Domestic spending right now is about four percent of the economy. That’s the lowest it has been since 1962 as a percentage of the economy. – If you want to really go after savings the place to do it are entitlement reforms. And the President has actually gone further than the Republicans have in terms of putting chain CPI and means testing. --- Spending is at about twenty three percent of the economy in terms of the federal budget. Taxes are at historical lows of sixteen percent. Republicans haven’t proposed in any of their plans getting spending down to sixteen percent. So they have to do something on the tax side if they really believe in a balanced budget. The numbers aren’t with the Republicans; the economists aren’t with the Republicans. Remember the President won three elections on this question. He won the election in the Presidential race, on the House race, and in the Senate where the question about a balanced approach to deal with the budget and deficit was front and center
I went back and looked at the transcript of the -- first debate, the one that Romney won. He wanted to get rid of loopholes and unnecessary deductions. He would not go forward with his plan unless they did that. – The point is, they don't care about balanced budgets. This is the big misconception in American politics. They haven’t cared for years about balanced budgets since Chaney said quote “budgets don’t matter”. – Paul Ryan’s budget doesn’t balance for thirty years. So we need to get out of our heads this notion that they are deficit hawks. They are not. They are radical Republicans who want to slash taxes even further on the wealthy. They don’t really stand for anything else other than that right now.
The analysis and narrative by both Alter and Epstein are all backed up by budgetary history, math, and facts. Paul Ryan’s budget reduces the social safety net dramatically to return it as tax cuts that go mostly to the well off. This information is readily available online from reputable sources. Republicans are betting that Americans will not take the time to educate themselves on the truth.