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In his most recent tweet about the President’s debt reduction plan, Rep. Todd Akin (R-2) seems to be trying for a little gravitas – as befits a senatorial candidate, perhaps?:

Glad to see the President finally entering the conversation on our federal debt. He should remember it is a spending – not revenue – problem

Surprising comment on two points:  

One – Akin has never impressed anyone who watches him closely as a person who enjoys give and take on the issues – witness his treatment of folks who try to ask challenging questions at his town halls. So now he wants us to believe that he welcomes presidential involvement? Particularly when that involvement contrasts so vividly with the fact-challenged GOP budget plan put forward by Rep. Ryan?*

Two – where’d Akin get the idea that that the deficit is a spending problem rather than a revenue problem? Lots of Republicans like to say this, but it clearly doesn’t stand up to even cursory examination. Do they really think anyone with half a brain believes it? Do they really believe it themselves?

We decrease revenue, presto-bingo, we increase the federal debt. Remember – we had a budget surplus until Bush enacted his tax cuts – cuts that, incidentally, contrary to the related tenet that Akin pushes, didn’t seem to have much positive effect on the economy during the Bush years. Instead, economic growth was consistently anemic, ultimately culminating in the massive Bush Recession.

Math-challenged Rep. Akin also seems to be ignoring the incontrovertible truth that if we do nothing about spending, but just let the the Bush tax cuts die a natural death, we would halve the deficit by 2021.

As Eliot Spitzer pointed out in Slate Magazine last January, our budget is out of balance: we spend in the neighborhood of $3.8 trillion, we take in about $2.5 trillion in revenue, leaving a deficit of about $1.3 trillion. Think about it. And then consider that Rep. Akin believes revenue absolutely, positively isn’t part of the problem. Do you think it might be due the fact that his ideological blinders are welded on just a little bit too tightly?

Just goes to show that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks and, no matter how he gussies himself up, Senator Akin would probably be just as fact-challenged and hide-bound as Representative Akin has shown himself to be on so many memorable – and often genuinely amusing – occasions.

* But wait – was this just Rep. Akin trying to be snarky? If so, he needs to try a little harder.