Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dana Milbank Red-Baits the People's Budget

Peter Hart

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank seems to like to mock progressives almost as much as he likes to go after Glenn Beck. So it's no surprise that he turned out to "cover" the unveiling of a budget plan by the Congressional Progressive Caucus (4/13/11).

Milbank seems to think that little explanation is needed--these crazy ideas are just obviously crazy:

Among the highlights: a $4 trillion tax increase over 10 years. An increase in the top tax rate to 49 percent. A $2.3 trillion defense spending cut--and an increase in domestic spending. Oh, and they would revive the "public option" to offer government-run healthcare.

Putting "increase" in italics is Milbank's way of saying, "Can you believe these people?!" And it's worth pointing out that the "public option" isn't "government-run healthcare," but these are details.

He goes to present the nightmare vision of the future:

Still, it gives a sense of how things would be if liberals ran the world: no cuts in Social Security benefits, government-negotiated Medicare drug prices, and increased income and Social Security taxes for the wealthy. Corporations and investors would be hit with a variety of new fees and taxes. And the military would face a shock-and-awe accounting: a 22 percent cut in Army soldiers, 30 percent for the Marines, 20 percent for the Navy and 15 percent for the Air Force. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would end, and weapons programs would go begging.

Keeping Social Security as is, reducing Medicare drug prices, raising taxes on corporations, ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.... I'm sorry, are these ideas supposed to sound absurd on their face? Someone should tell the people, since much of this would be broadly popular. At least, that seems to be the case when the people are asked what they think.

Better watch our language, though--Milbank points out that this talk about "the people" is a little creepy:

Their oft-repeated slogan, "The People’s Budget," conveyed an unhelpful association with "the people's republic" and other socialist undertakings.

An "unhelpful association" made by the writer. Glenn Beck might be leaving Fox, which might open up some room for others in the media to ferret out the socialists among us.

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