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Mitch McConnell staked out bold territory in an interview with Bloomberg News published Tuesday, explaining that with Republicans in control of the White House, House and Senate, there's almost certainly no possibility they'll ever take any action to control the debt and deficit, because obviously Republicans only worry about deficits when Democrats are running things. But at least he was clear on one thing: The main reason the USA has a deficit problem is that we simply can't afford Medicare and Social Security, and by golly, the Republicans' $1.5 trillion tax cut last year contributed NOTHING to the debt, because duh, tax cuts are good and "entitlements" are bad, don't you know anything about economics?

Echoing Paul Ryan over the summer (and last winter ... and the winter before that ... and 2012 ...) McConnell insisted that with Washington Politicians unwilling to stick to a budget (like, say, passing a $1.5 trillion tax cut), there just doesn't seem to be the will for bipartisan deficit cutting, because it would have to be bipartisan, don't you understand?


"It's disappointing, but it's not a Republican problem," McConnell said Tuesday in an interview with Bloomberg News when asked about the rising deficits and debt. "It's a bipartisan problem: unwillingness to address the real drivers of the debt by doing anything to adjust those programs to the demographics of America in the future."

McConnell's remarks came a day after the Treasury Department said the U.S. budget deficit grew to $779 billion in Donald Trump's first full fiscal year as president, the result of the GOP's tax cuts, bipartisan spending increases and rising interest payments on the national debt. That's a 77 percent increase from the $439 billion deficit in fiscal 2015, when McConnell became majority leader.

Say, could a gigantic $1.5 trillion tax cut possibly have contributed to the problem? Don't be silly, because that was an economically stimulating Republican plan, while Medicare and Social Security are in need of bipartisan action, and please don't pretend that's a non sequitur, will you? Besides, when one party is in power, you're simply not going to get the deficit down, because no way are Republicans dumb enough to cut popular programs like Social Security and Medicaid. Heck no! They'll insist on bipartisanship so they can blame Democrats for gutting Grandma's Medicare.

McConnell was really, really disappointed that the last time we had divided government, Barack Obama wouldn't take any leadership and do something Republicans spend all their time dreaming about.

McConnell said he had many conversations on the issue with former President Barack Obama, a Democrat.

"He was a very smart guy, understood exactly what the problem was, understood divided government was the time to do it, but didn't want to, because it was not part of his agenda," McConnell said.

Truly regrettable, really. If only Democrats would do what Republicans want when they're in power, because obviously Republicans can't do what Republicans want when Republicans are in power, unless it's handing out big fat tax cuts to rich donors. That's why there's so much partisan discord these days. Democrats selfishly try to pass legislation that sometimes conforms a little to their goals, instead of doing what Republicans want and then being called Socialist Hitlerliberal Jesuskillers.

The whole atmosphere of partisan rancor is very unsettling to the man who vowed to oppose everything Barack Obama ever did, including sending out Christmas cards.

"I think it would be safe to say that the single biggest disappointment of my time in Congress has been our failure to address the entitlement issue, and it's a shame, because now the Democrats are promising 'Medicare for all,"' he said. "I mean, my gosh, we can't sustain the Medicare we have at the rate we're going and that's the height of irresponsibility."

Simply no way to afford Medicare for All, and please don't mention that Koch-funded study which determined Medicare for All would save trillions of dollars compared to our current hodgepodge of non-systems that don't begin to cover everyone. But the total price tag would still be a large number, so my gosh, we can't afford that.

The Bloomberg piece mentions last year's tax cut, but darned if there's any indication the reporters asked McConnell anything about it for this particular interview. Instead, the piece only mentions McConnell's rosy scenario when the tax cuts were pushed through:

At the time, McConnell told reporters, "I not only don't think it will increase the deficit, I think it will be beyond revenue-neutral." He added, "In other words, I think it will produce more than enough to fill that gap."

We have to say we're perplexed. In a conversation about "things that cause deficits," in which McConnell explicitly blamed social spending for old people for the deficit, did nobody think to ask, "Oh, hey, Mr. Yertle Lord, what about that tax cut?" It seems like rather an obvious thing to bring up, just maybe. Obviously, Mitch would have just lied, but they might have tried getting that on record, huh? At least they found room for statements from Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi pointing out, and we're quoting directly here, "Fuck you and fuck your tax cuts, you granny-starving fuck."

OK, so that was more of a paraphrase I had up there.

But maybe Bloomberg reporters did ask McConnell a question about the tax cuts' effect on the deficit, and his reply was riveting, brilliant, and irrefutably persuasive -- even to those of us who consider supply-side economics a bunch of damp farts in a greasy bag. We bet that's it, and Bloomberg News left it out just to further its dishonest media liberal agenda.

[Bloomberg]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Hello! Here a beautiful open thread for you to not comment all over, so that you don't not comment all over Dok's book club post.

I was gonna drop my Nonnie's recipe for Easter bread in here, but apparently it has to proof overnight and is also for approximately 87,000 people, so not much of a point to that! (Though here it is if you really want it. She doesn't do the egg thing, but if you want, you can put some dyed raw eggs in the braided dough before you bake. And you can add sprinkles, and anise if you're gross and like gross things) I was gonna try and make it myself last night, but have instead opted to just make waffles. Waffles are FINE.

So instead, I shall just leave you with this absolutely terrifying version of The Velveteen Rabbit starring Marie Osmond as said velveteen rabbit. Coincidentally, Marie Osmond is also Nonnie's 2nd arch-nemesis, after Rachel Ray (Rachel Ray because she doesn't pull her hair back when she cooks, and Marie for reasons I'm not entirely clear on but which I believe are related to a Weight Watchers commercial).

THE VELVETEEN RABBIT starring Marie Osmond - full length feature youtu.be


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'Unemployed men queued outside a depression soup kitchen opened in Chicago by Al Capone' -- National Archives

Happy Day Before Half-Priced Easter Chocolate Day, Wonkers! Time to wrap up our Wonkette Book Club discussion of Winter War: Hoover, Roosevelt, and the First Clash Over the New Deal, by Erich Rauchway, a historian at UC-Davis. We're increasingly convinced the book might have just as well been titled Herbert Hoover: Christ, What An Asshole! As ever, even if you haven't finished the reading, jump in anyway -- there won't be a test!

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