Not As They Do: Conservatives and the Deficit, Pt. 3

Terrance Heath

Conservatives who squawk about the deficit — and Democrats who should know better, but squawk anyway — tend to do so selectively. That is, they tend to focus only on spending. But spending is only half of any deficit equation. After all, a deficit is "the amount by which expenditures or liabilities exceed income or assets." When it comes to the government "income" really means "revenue," and that means if we’re going to have an honest discussion about the deficit we have to talk about about taxes.

That half of the deficit equation — income or revenue — rarely enters the discussion, but the reality is the surest way to create a deficit is to increase spending while deliberately decreasing income or revenue. Who would do something like that? Something so obviously unsustainable?