They must think we voters are stupid, and maybe we are.
Poll after poll shows that when Americans are asked what bothers them the most about their government, it’s that it’s too big and it’s spending too much. Running up debt to China that our children will have to pay. We gotta rein the sucker in somehow.
Then these same Americans are asked what government programs they’d like to do without. Social Security? Hold on a minute! I paid in to that. They can’t steal it from me now. Medicare? What, and make me cough up for Granny’s doctor appointments? Obamacare? Gotta say, I like the sound of that preexisting conditions stuff. Unemployment benefits? Not if I’m the one who’s out of a job. Et cetera.
On top of that, we all want to extend the Bush tax cuts. Some have even bought into the idea that if we extend them for the rich as well, they won’t bank the difference or buy an Italian yacht with it, but instead will plow the loot back into jobs (maybe they’ll hire an extra couple of undocumented landscape workers to tend their estates).
The goal, for those who tease us irresponsibly with notions of reducing the deficit, is to somehow glide through election season without having to divulge the truth: that it can’t be done without pain, and a lot of it.
They know that if they really begin to do everything they say, voters will scream bloody murder as their favorite handouts get gouged. They’ll take it out on the perpetrators next time around anyway, so why tell them the truth now?
Better yet, once the elections are over, why do anything meaningful at all? That deficit stuff was all just rhetoric; any smart person ought to know that. The ones spouting it certainly do. Stalling has worked pretty well for us up until now. Let's keep on kickin' that can down the road.
And, when all else fails, blame Obama. Twenty percent of Americans are willing to believe anything you say about him. That’s a good solid base to build on.