Even after the modest reductions in spending resulting from Sunday’s deal to raise the federal debt ceiling, the federal government will still spend $3.5 trillion in 2012 — compared to $2.9 trillion in 2008. But Congressman Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) had a big tantrum yesterday that the spending won’t be even bigger: “We have negotiated with terrorists,” an angry Doyle said. Referring to the Tea Party, he lamented that “This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money.” (The Tea Party doesn’t control either House of Congress; Democrats control the Senate.)
His reference to peaceful Tea Party members as “terrorists” was echoed by Vice President Biden. “Vice President Joe Biden joined House Democrats in lashing tea party Republicans Monday, accusing them of having ‘acted like terrorists’ in the fight over raising the nation’s debt limit.” Although Biden regularly voted to increase the debt limit as a senator when a Democrat was in the White House, he and Obama voted against such increases when Republicans were in the White House, even when such debt ceiling increases were needed to pay for federal programs and wars that Biden had voted for. Unlike some Tea Party Republicans, Biden did not make any constructive suggestions about how to rein in deficit spending when he voted against increases in the debt limit. He simply did so to score partisan political points.
Doyle’s claim that Tea Party members are terrorists was echoed by some intemperate left-wing op-ed writers, like The New York Times‘ Joe Nocera, who claimed today that “Tea Party Republicans have waged jihad on the American people.” Curiously, although left-wing journalists depict peaceful Tea Party members as terrorists, they depict violent Greek anti-austerity protesters who oppose cutbacks in deficit spending as “largely peaceful” even when such protesters firebomb banks, resulting in the deaths of innocent people. To them, “peaceful” simply means you don’t question the big-government status quo.
Even with the cuts in the July 31 deal to lift the debt ceiling, America is still spending so much money that its credit rating may be downgraded by Standard and Poor’s. That might wreak havoc on the economy, but The New York Times‘ Paul Krugman called for even more deficit spending in an August 1 op-ed. His frequent lament is that President Obama is insufficiently “progressive,” even though Obama is by any reasonable measure the most left-wing president in history. The federal budget deficit is now $1.6 trillion — compared to $160 billion in 2007. But even increasing the deficit by a factor of ten just isn’t enough for progressives like Krugman.