Republicans scream that unless they get a $61 billion tax subsidy for their rich cronies, they will shut down the U.S. government. They want to cut $61 billion in services vital to every American because their billionaire buddies don't want to pony up their fair share for maintaining the nation that has blessed them with the greatest wealth in human experience.
The Republicans claim that all these services must be cut or the nation will drown in debt. In fact, the $61 billion in cuts is aimed at the discretionary spending portion of the federal budget, which represents a mere 12% of total government expenditures, and will have a negligible effect on paying down the federal debt.
The Republicans' hysterical shrieking over cuts to balance the federal budget is just one of their very convenient untruths.
The cuts would not reduce the debt, but they would destroy millions of American lives. Millions will lose access to medical care, hot meals, and education. Of course, the Republicans, spendthrifts who put two foreign wars on the nation's credit card and bankrupted an entire global financial system for grins, don't care one whit about government debt. Their avowed goal is to ruin the Obama presidency, and destroying America is just icing on their plutocratic cake. In fact, the $61 billion in cuts has something for every plutocrat. The cuts would effectively shut down the Environmental Protection Agency, allowing GOP oil barons unlimited Deepwater Horizon disasters, along with the belching of unlimited veils of greenhouse gases and the dumping of unlimited torrents of toxic sludge. The cuts would effectively shut down all federal banking and financial oversight, allowing unlimited pyramid accounting schemes, along with unlimited bank fraud rackets and unlimited credit trading scams. The cuts would devastate education, effective creating unlimited legions of Republicans thugs out of poor whites home-schooled on hate and misrepresentations of the Bible.
The cuts would eliminate PBS, effectively preventing anyone from seeing unbiased news, science or arts programming. Republicans will do anything to keep people ignorant and fearful.
None of the $61 billion in cuts has anything to do with balancing the federal budget, and has everything to do with destroying America's ability to protect its people from the depredations of the GOP's plutocrat masters.
The real reason for America's debt and budget shortfall is the result of another of the Republican's convenient untruths: that lowering taxes for the wealthy is the best way to create jobs. No budget balancing will come from raising taxes on the Republicans' beloved plutocrats, because to do so would destroy jobs and any prospect for creating jobs.
This convenient untruth has been bandied about for generations, and is based on a partial truth. Lowering taxes on lower- and middle-income people creates jobs, because lower- and middle-income families who get to keep a larger portion of their income would spend the money to buy food, and rent, and school supplies, and clothes for work, and a new car to get there. The greater demand cranks up the economy, creating more jobs, creating more wage earners, and so on.
Lowering taxes on corporations and the wealthy, especially the very wealthy, has the opposite effect. It incentivizes companies to exaggerate the bottom line by slashing payrolls and combining operations. The grossly overgenerous profit margins means more money to be divvied up among ever more investors, encouraging mergers and acquisitions that seek to create even larger paper profits with even more cost cutting layoffs. Jobs that can't be eliminated entirely are off-shored to the lowest bidder. Manufacturing and services are shipped out of America. Millions are idled, and the idle rich grow richer.
Once all the real jobs are gone, the very wealthy can then go to work on just making up imaginary profits with exotic financial instruments. Billions of imaginary dollars are traded to real suckers who believe there's real money somewhere in all the chaff. The money changers grow rich, and a global economic system is crashed.
The convenient untruth that tax subsidies for the wealthy somehow creates jobs is the Republican's greatest boondoggle. Everyone wants to believe not paying taxes is a good thing. No one realizes Republicans only care that the rich not pay any taxes. Most Americans pay far too much in taxes, eroding their buying power, while the rich pay far too little, eroding the nation's business and industrial base.
The clear solution is to raise taxes on the wealthy, the top 2% or 5% of Americans, and to cut everyone else's taxes. Taxing the GOP's plutocrats would reverse the job-slashing layoffs and off-shoring, and, along with some prudent international trading rules, bring vital jobs back to America.
But that's an inconvenient truth, and we know how Republicans feel about those.