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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

The Shutdown’s Not About the Money, Either

As policy wonks begin to stare more intensely at Paul Ryan’s budget “blueprint,” it becomes more obvious all the time that he’s aiming more at conservative policy prescriptions than at any sort of fiscal discipline. Otherwise, he probably wouldn’t be insisting on yet another tax cut for high earners (and for corporations), and a really big one at that.
Meanwhile, the claim that Republicans are risking a government shutdown because they are so concerned about levels of “government spending” is looking threadbare, too. At this point, it’s all about the appropriations riders, and mostly about killing off federal funding for family planning and for environmental protection.
Next time you read that the “Tea Party” is forcing John Boehner to go to the mats for “more cuts,” you should mentally add: “to programs and policies right-wingers don’t like.” It wasn’t about the money in Wisconsin, isn’t about the money with the long-term budget, and isn’t about the money on appropriations, either. When it is about the money, maybe we can talk, but for now, it’s just an effort to use fiscal concerns to take the country back to the 1960s or earlier.

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