Our Debased Presidential Debate

Robert Borosage

The estimable E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post writes today about the utterly dishonest debate the Romney-Ryan campaign is waging.

On Medicare, the current centerpiece, Ryan and Romney simply lie. This is a subset of a dishonest debate on how to cut the deficit: Ryan and Romney claim they can cut taxes by over $4 trillion in decade, raise military spending and balance budget by savaging Medicaid and other programs for poor. Pure bull.

But even E.J. accepts the subject of this debate: how to reduce deficits.  That is the wrong subject at this time. We should be having a debate about how to make the economy work and put people back to work. That is not only imperative to end unnecessary human misery, it is the first and indispensable step to reducing deficits.

Austerity in a weak economy only drives the economy back to recession—see Britain, Portugal, Spain, France, etc. It increases poverty and, ironically, adds to the debt burden as the economy craters.

We’re not only having a dishonest debate about deficit reduction. We’re having a dishonest debate about the wrong subject.

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