Seven ways to rebut Tea Party demagoguery

Amid the ridiculous Tea Party-inspired focus on the national debt and deficit at the very time the government should be spending more money to increase the pace of economic recovery, it’s nice to be able to offer a little fiscal sanity. Here it is, contained in a very readable Center for Economic Policy Research report titled, “7 Things You Need to Know About the National Debt, Deficits, and the Dollar.” Among the report’s seven bullet points are a couple that you ought to shove between the cheeks of your favorite debt-demagoging congressman at every opportunity: Social Security is not in significant financial trouble; the U.S. trade deficit is at the center of the country’s debt problems, which (although it sounds somehow unpatriotic) a weaker dollar would help solve; and the rate of increase in private sector health care costs is the primary driver of the Medicare and Medicaid funding problems that really do threaten America’s long-term financial vitality.  Yes, leaving Social Security alone and expanding Obamacare actually are significant parts of  a smart, fact-based approach to the long-term fiscal difficulties that the country faces and that ill-timed Tea Party austerity measures would only worsen.

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