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This Week's 'Deficit Debate': How Is It A Debate When No One Is There To Oppose It?

According to Village protocol, the only permissible "debate" on the deficit is over how much do we cut, and how? Should we cut into the veins, arteries or capillaries? Should we use a hatchet, a knife or a scalpel, or all of the above? On

According to Village protocol, the only permissible "debate" on the deficit is over how much do we cut, and how? Should we cut into the veins, arteries or capillaries? Should we use a hatchet, a knife or a scalpel, or all of the above?

On This Week with Christiane Amanpour, the closest thing they had to a liberal voice was Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who tried to have it both ways. He kinda-sorta sidestepped the idea of tax increases, proclaimed his support of "fiscal responsibility" but defended Obama's call for certain kinds of spending:

President Obama's deficit-reduction speech wasn't just about numbers but what kind of country America will become, Governor Deval Patrick said this morning during an appearance on ABC's "This Week" news program.

While Republicans have criticized the partisan nature of last week's address, in which Obama proposed cutting $4 trillion over 12 years, Patrick said the critics glossed over its overarching theme.

“It’s a fiscally responsible but also mutually responsible kind of community, and I support that," the governor told host Christiane Amanpour.

Patrick also said: “It thought the speech … was a real leadership moment. I think that the president took us to the place where we really ought to be debating — it’s been the subtext for a long time — and that's, what kind of country do we want to be? That’s the underlying question in terms of the budget and the deficit and health care, as well, for that matter, and that’s what we should be debating.”

George Will, of course, is worse than useless. He talked about the grand days under Jack Kennedy, when people paid a much bigger proportion of their medical expenses -- with nary a hint of understanding that medical expenses have gone through the roof since then, and that U.S. wages have actually declined in the last 30 years. But that isn't as much fun to harrumph about.

The next time a wealthy talking head talks about our need to have some "skin in the game," why don't we peel ours off and leave it on his doorstep?

Can you help us out?

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