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Paul Krugman was hugely underwhelmed by House Speaker John Boehner's opening bid in fiscal cliff curb talks. It's a fake, as phony as Paul Ryan's fiscal genius. But he has a larger point, illustrated with this updated deficit chart from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Chart showing causes of U.S. deficit. August 2012.
He says:
What I haven’t seen pointed out here is the longer arc of GOP strategy. Does anyone recall how the Bush tax cuts were passed? The 2001 cut was passed based on the claim that the government was running an excessive surplus; the 2003 cut on the claim that it would provide an economic boost. Then the surplus went away, and the economy did not, to say the least, perform very well.

So now we face a substantial long-run deficit largely created by those tax cuts [...] And the GOP says that because of that deficit we must raise the Medicare age and cut Social Security!

Is the modern day GOP evil genius enough to have strategized more than a decade ago to bankrupt the country to attempt to force an end to entitlement programs? Possibly, or maybe it's just a welcome by-product of their primary goal of helping the 1 percent steal everything that isn't nailed down. One thing that's abundantly clear and has been for the past decade. They don't care about the deficit. Never have.

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