Deficit Hawks

One of the hypocritical stances I like to point out among politicians (mostly Republicans, but a few Democrats as well) is the claim of being a deficit hawk. There are some out there who jump up and down and scream bloody murder when it comes to any government spending. They claim they can’t possibly vote for a given piece of legislation because it will add to the deficit. They proclaim loudly that the deficit is the single most important issue we face as a country. But then we encounter an issue like the expiration of the Bush tax cuts (which will end up adding hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit over the next 10 years) or the issue of the day,

A Congressional Budget Office estimate suggests that the Republican plan to repeal the new health care law would increase the deficit by $230 billion by 2021.

Suddenly an issue that the deficit hawks care more about becomes more important than their deficit hawkishness. So here’s my rule of thumb. If you rule out tax increases in all cases, you’re not really a deficit hawk. Does that make you a bad person? Not necessarily. But if you go off about how the deficits are terrible and need to be fixed immediately (if not sooner), but then you vote in a budget busting way on a regular basis, you’re not a deficit hawk, you’re just a politician.

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