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Let's shut down the government
by Frank Rich


In the right’s echo chamber, voters are seen as so fed up with deficits that they’ll put
principle over temporary inconveniences - like, say, a halt in processing new Social Security
applicants or veterans’ benefit checks. Who needs coddled government workers to deal with
those minutiae anyway? As Mike Huckabee has cheerfully pointed out, many more federal
services are automated now than in the olden days of the late 20th century. Phone trees
don’t demand pensions...

The 2011 rebels are to the right of their 1995 antecedents in any case. That’s why this battle,
ostensibly over the deficit, is so much larger than the sum of its line-item parts. The highest
priority of America?s current political radicals is not to balance government budgets but to
wage ideological warfare in Washington and state capitals alike. The relatively few dollars
that would be saved by the proposed slashing of federal spending on Planned Parenthood
and Head Start don?t dent the deficit; the cuts merely savage programs the right abhors.

In Wisconsin, where state workers capitulated to Gov. Scott Walker's demands for
financial concessions, the radical Republicans' only remaining task is to destroy labor's
right to collective bargaining.

Why doesn't somebody state the obvious? If the Rethugs wanted to balance the budget
they wouldn't have borrowed a trillion dollars from China to give to the super-rich.

I'll bet Al Franken might say that - he seems to have some courage.

Maybe I should contact his office about why cruise ships are allowed to fly foriegn flags
to evade paying US federal income taxes and put up roadblocks to prevent a raped woman
from pressing charges against her rapist.

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