must be offset by spending cuts. Thus they have made a mockery of their claim that cutting taxes pays for itself. They have also revealed that their interest in cutting taxes does not reach very far down the income scale.
If cutting taxes for most Americans is not a priority, that must be because reducing the deficit is a higher priority, right? Wrong. On the deficit, Republicans on the super-committee torpedoed any potential deal by insisting that revenue increases could not be part of any compromise. Congressional Republicans are also looking for ways to avoid the automatic cuts in defense spending that they agreed to as part of this past summer's agreement to raise the debt ceiling. That means cutting the deficit is not the top priority. And cutting government spending is not the top priority either, if that includes defense spending.
If cutting taxes, and cutting the deficit, and cutting government spending are not priorities, that must be because stimulating the economy is the priority, right? Once again, wrong. Republicans in Congress have done absolutely nothing to increase employment. In fact, what they advocate most vociferously is firing more public employees. The main thing that has been depressing job creation figures, month after month, has been reductions in public sector employment, mostly at the state and local level. It is impossible to reduce unemployment while you are busy firing as many public sector employees as you possibly can. It is like pouring water back into a boat while somebody else is bailing it out. The private sector cannot even absorb the existing unemployed fast enough, and obviously cannot absorb the additional teachers, construction workers, and many thousands of other employees being laid off as a result of government spending cutbacks.
So what are the real Republican priorities? Helping the wealthy keep more of their money, obviously. They cop to that. Shrinking social programs such as Medicare. The Ryan budget plan they all voted for does that. And perhaps, as about half the population now believes, trying to stall the economic recovery so they can benefit in the next election. So let's have some honesty in next year's election campaigns. Republicans might as well give up the pretense that they are most interested in cutting taxes, reducing the deficit and improving the economy. The public now understands that Republicans are in fact running on a platform of helping the rich get richer, cutting benefits for the poor and middle class, and refusing to cooperate in any way with the other party so that they can blame the Democrats for anything that goes wrong. Being forced to run on ideas like that, it's no wonder the Republican presidential field is in disarray.