Budget shell game

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In the Washington Post today, E.J. Dionne has a must-read column about, of all things, arcane budget details. Republicans in the House and Senate are trying to fiddle with their schedules so that they don’t have to consider tax cuts and spending cuts at the same time—precisely so that the two don’t get linked in the public eye. The reasoning goes like this: tax cuts get made because, well, that’s what happens, and then much later on, spending cuts must be made because of that huge, yawning deficit that somehow magically appeared out of nowhere. It’s a neat trick, and this way the trade-off between dividend tax cuts for investors on the one hand, and cuts in health care for low-income mothers and children on the other, never gets made explicit.

Meanwhile, Mark Schmitt points out the odd hypocrisy of some of the so-called “responsible Republicans” who are voting for free tax cuts one moment, but then refuse any unpopular spending cuts the next. Precisely where do they think the money comes from?

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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