I always ask teabaggers when I run into them, how any federal deficit has hurt them personally? They can't respond to that. They have no answer except to cry "socialism."
Sure, it's much better to have a surplus like Clinton did, but these same deficit hawks were quite happy when the Bush tax cuts came down and the rich got richer and the economy collapsed. But I ask again: How has deficit spending hurt you?
Long term debt is nothing to sneeze at, but when we're talking about reforming health care for America, who really cares if it's $700 billion for 10 years or $1 trillion or $1.5 trillion? (By the way, I love the way the press never tells America what it would cost per year because then the figure doesn't sound so bad. They make it appear that the cost is $700 or 900 billion a year.)
Go ask a teabagger about costs and see what they say. What will it matter in the long run? We can figure out how to pay for it. Even FDR was hampered by these deficit hawks when he brought the country out of the Great Depression, and now these deficit hawks almost put us back into a Depression because they were so deficit crazy.
The deficit hawk is code for keeping the rich---rich. And then finding ways to keep their money pouring in.
Digby has a great post up today about costs:
The Peterson Foundation is ready with the news. They released a report (pdf) on the Kennedy Bill today...
The fact is that if all these benefits were actually realized, the country would be far, far better off, both financially and otherwise. Nobody expects that spending will go down, merely that the growth in spending will be less. Therefore, if the government finds itself having to pay out all that money in health care benefits, this healthier, more prosperous nation can surely afford to levy the necessary taxes to pay for it, right?
I don't give a damn what this is going to cost in 2029. And nobody else should either because these projections are based on bullshit. Nobody can see that far into the future. If we can pay for it now, then we should do it now. And if it costs more down the line, then we will find a way to pay for it. This nonsensical obsession with deficits decades into the future is nothing more than a scam designed to keep the gravy train going for the wealthiest Americans at the expense of everyone else.
If these numbers are correct, then the fiscal scolds are going to have to argue that people today have to die so that wealthy people in 2029 don't have to pay higher taxes. It's that simple.
The president is also talking about having a deficit neutral bill, but he's being attacked for it by the usual suspects.