Someone get Cornyn a copy of the budget

SOMEONE GET CORNYN A COPY OF THE BUDGET…. Sen. John Cornyn (R) of Texas, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, was on CNN yesterday, sharing some thoughts about Democrats.

“Well, I am waiting for this administration to take responsibility for the job it volunteered for, and our Democratic colleagues who are in the majority and who run the show in Congress.

“The fact of the matter was that in 2008, the last year President Bush was in office, the deficit was 3.2 percent of the gross domestic product. Now it’s about 10 percent. So it has more than tripled with $2.3 trillion of additional debt.

“People are tired.”

I can’t speak for “people” in general, but I know I’m tired of nonsensical talking points.

Cornyn’s memory isn’t just short; it’s factually wrong. The budget deficit Bush/Cheney left for Democrats to clean up was $1.3 trillion. It’s unclear exactly what this year’s shortfall will be, but it’s likely to be around $1.5 trillion. To suggest that the deficit has “more than tripled” is to suggest that John Cornyn is strikingly bad at arithmetic.

Just as importantly, for Cornyn to blame Democrats for the size of the deficit is demonstrably ridiculous — Bush’s policies are the single biggest factor in the budget shortfall, and will remain the single biggest contributor to the deficit over the next decade.

And even more important still, the deficit matters, but not as much as generating economic growth and creating jobs. Cornyn is obsessed with one of the messes he helped to create (the budget deficit), while ignoring the other mess he helped to create (a painfully weak economy and job market). Focusing on deficit reduction when the deficit is supposed to be high reflects priorities that are flawed to the point of comedy.

The whole argument is farcical. Cornyn wanted tax cuts for the wealthy, so he increased the deficit. He supported a war in Afghanistan, so he increased the deficit some more. He wanted a war in Iraq, so he increased the deficit some more. Cornyn backed a new national education policy and an expansion of Medicare, but he didn’t want to pay for them, so he increased the deficit some more.

And now Cornyn wants Democrats to “take responsibility” and work towards balancing the budget? It’d be hilarious if it weren’t so pathetic. He got us in this mess; he doesn’t get to whine about the speed with which Dems clean it up.