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Where Are the Real Deficit Hawks?
By David Sirota
Creators Syndicate, 11/13/09
Let's say you're a congressperson or tea party leader looking to champion deficit reduction -- a cause 38 percent of Americans tell pollsters they support. And let's say you're deciding whether to back two pieces of imminent legislation.
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the first bill's spending provisions cost $100 billion annually and its tax and budget-cutting provisions recoup $111 billion annually, thus reducing total federal expenditures by $11 billion each year. The second bill proposes $636 billion in annual spending and recoups nothing. Over 10 years, the first bill would spend $1 trillion and recover $1.11 trillion -- a fantastic return on taxpayer investment. Meanwhile, the second bill puts us on a path to spend $6.3 trillion in the same time.
Save $110 billion, or spend $6.3 trillion? If you're explicitly claiming the mantle of fiscal prudence, this should be a no-brainer: You support the first bill and oppose the second one.
Yet, in recent months, the opposite happened.
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