The theocon pledges allegiance to "Cap, Cur, Balance." And I heard the creepster-neocon Lindsey Graham pumping it on TV this morning. Apparently now all Republicans are for this pledge composed by GOP lobbyists. But what exactly is the pledge, and what does it mean? When Ron Paul agrees to cut, cap, and balance, we know exactly what he means, thanks to his life of principle, integrity, and dedication to liberty, plus his deep knowledge of economics. But what about the others?
My first concern: what does "cut" mean? When Ron says cut, he means what you and I do; less spending next year than this year. But DC-speak has another meaning for cut: a cut in the rate of increase, but higher spending, still. (Not that either meaning of cut ever happens!) That is the universal, non-Paulian meaning in DC, especially among Republicans. Also, what is the deficit? As Ron always points out, there is vast "off-budget" spending by the USG. That is why the annual increase in the national debt is always bigger than the "deficit." There are other ambiguities:
1. Cut - Substantial [unspecified] cuts in spending that will reduce [from what] the deficit next year and thereafter.
2. Cap - Enforceable [how?] spending caps that will put federal spending on a path [a years' long path of kicking the can down the road?] to a balanced budget.
3. Balance - Congressional passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution - but only if it includes both a spending limitation and a super-majority for raising taxes, in addition to balancing revenues and expenses.
Even aside from the fact that a BBA will take years to enact, and problems with the text of that, too, I also note that the constitution is no restraint on the government now; why should a BBA change that? Nevertheless, it is huge fun to watch the state media--at an hysterical pitch not seen since TARP--arguing that the earth will fall into the sun if a huge, perpetual increase in federal debt is not enabled.