Today, a Facebook friend sarcastically wondered why congressional Democrats would push back a vote on the Bush tax cuts until after the election. This friend -- a card-carrying member of the Palin/Limbaugh/Hannity wing of the Republican Party -- regularly makes disparaging comments toward Democrats on his Facebook page, which normally is fine with me, but he seems to be fond of recycling the cliches he hears on Hannity's show or from Palin's stump speeches. This is not a particularly insightful guy, and, I suspect, one that isn't able to grasp the disconnect between criticizing the size of the budget deficit and his own thirst for an extension of the Bush tax cuts.
To that end, I asked him the following four questions:
1. Your opinion on cutting defense spending to trim the deficit (as Obama did last year, phasing out those fighter jets that haven't been used in combat since the first Gulf War).
2. Every serious economist on the left, right and center agrees that even after you cut out out "welfare queens," end waste/fraud/abuse and outlaw earmarks, you still will be faced with a massive budget deficit. Do you agree with that conclusion, or not?
3. Do you seriously believe that as we're running a trillion dollar deficit, with the deficit expected to spike up to $1.2 trillion in FY 2011, you can eventually avoid raising taxes to balance the budget? If your answer is yes, that implies that you think you can find a trillion dollars to cut out of the budget, so ...
4. Where do you plan to find this trillion dollars?
Answers to come ...