This is truly nutty. Republicans in the House kept howling about the budget deficit in the face of the much-needed, and undersized, stimulus package. Now they insist that extending the Bush tax cuts to America's wealthiest must take priority, even though it is undesputed that doing so will add dramatically to the deficit, just as Bush's original tax cuts did.
Back then, in 2001, some Republican ideologues insisted that massive tax cuts would not contribute to the deficit for reasons associated with supply-side doctrine. They were fantastically wrong in the 1980s when the concept first appeared with Reagan. They were hugely wrong again during Bush the Lesser's Reign of Error. Yet some Republicans will still announce that they are supply-siders.
Really? That is some powerful cognitive dissonance you got going there.
The official reason for extending the tax cuts is that they will create jobs. Right, the people at the very top, which are the ones who stand to benefit, already have a greater proportion of our national wealth than at any time since the Gilded Age. And yet the rich will rush out and hire someone if they can just get a tax cut. They don't have enough money yet; is that it?
Republicans willfully ignore the preponderance of data that shows tax cuts for those already rich is a notoriously ineffective way to create jobs (unlike stimulus spending on infrastructure). And they are asking us to forget how we got in the current mess in the first place. All those tax cuts created plenty of jobs during Bush's tenure, except that they didn't.
Instead Republicans shamelessly argue that we must reel in social security even though, by law, social security pays for itself, and cannot contribute to the national deficit.
See Sabrina1's excellent article, The Terrible Cost of the Bush Tax Cuts, for more on the legacy of the tax cuts, and links to analyses that explain why they are ineffective policy tools.
One would be at a loss to explain their idiotic determination to implement such misinformed policies only if one believed the Republicans actually mean what they say. They don't: they are not interested in the deficit, job creation, or helping main street. And they don't give a damn about bipartisanship. Their overriding interests are to consolidate political power and to deliver on the wish lists of Wall Street in particular, and Corporate America in general. They may sound like hypocrites, thugs, and intellectual buffoons to some of us. They don't care.
Like I said, nutty times.