Loathing of Government Drives GOP on Debt Ceiling - Rolling Stone
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Loathing of Government Drives GOP on Debt Ceiling

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) (R) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) (R) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)

Alex Wong/Getty Images

The GOP’s long-running battle against government has lately turned into an “apocalyptic and total war,” the Washington Post‘s Harold Meyerson writes. The debt-ceiling clash leaves no doubt: Republicans have ditched all other priorities in favor of one overriding goal – “blocking any tax increase on anyone ever again,” the better to strangle government once and for all. Nothing short of total, annihilating victory will appease them. Republicans claim to have the best interests of the economy in mind, citing the mindless and conclusively discredited supply-side dogma that tax cuts equal growth and tax hikes – any tax hikes – contraction. (If that were true, how could the Clinton years have yielded such a flood of jobs  and the low-tax George W. Bush years such a drought?) As Meyerson puts it,”The Republicans … have embraced market libertarianism at the very moment that America’s market capitalism is functioning worse than at any time since the Great Depression.” So how to explain their inflexible opposition to anything tax cuts? “At its root, I suspect, is the fear and loathing that rank-and-file right-wingers feel toward what their government, and their nation, is inexorably becoming: multiracial, multicultural, cosmopolitan and now headed by a president who personifies those qualities. … That’s not a country whose government they want to pay for – and if the apocalypse befalls us, they seem to have concluded, so much the better.”

Debt talks reveal the Republicans’ apocalyptic war on government [Harold Meyerson, Washington Post]


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