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The Republican plan with lipstick

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(Read caption) Republicans are trying to put lipstick on a plan to reduce the deficit, in hopes that nobody will realize what the proposal really is, writes guest blogger Robert Reich.

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Republicans figure that if they can’t sell the pig, they’ll just put lipstick on it and find some suckers who will think it’s something else.

That’s the proposal emerging in the Senate from Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee and also Democrat Claire McCaskill of Missouri. It would get the deficit down not by raising taxes on the rich but by capping federal spending.

If Congress failed to stay under the cap, the budget would be automatically cut.

According to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the McCaskill/Corker plan would require $800 billion of cuts in 2022 alone. That’s the equivalent of eliminating Medicare entirely, or the entire Department of Defense.

Obviously the Defense Department wouldn’t disappear, so what would go? Giant cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, education, and much of everything else Americans depend on.

It’s the Republican plan with lipstick. It would have the same exact result. But by disguising it with caps and procedures, Republicans can avoid saying what they’re intending to do.

The McCaskill/Corker spending cap would also make it impossible for government to boost the economy in recessions. Which would mean even higher unemployment, lasting longer.

Other Senate Dems are showing interest in the lipsticked pig, including West Virginia’s Joe Manchin. Not surpringly, Joe Lieberman is on board.

But don’t be fooled, and don’t let anyone else be. McCaskill/Corker is the same Republican pig.

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The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link above.

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