GOP's Biggest Enemy: Reality

Party can't turn talk into action: Paul Krugman
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2013 11:50 AM CDT
GOP's Biggest Enemy: Reality
In this March 12, 2013, file photo, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Republicans are hitting a wall in the House: the wall between ideology and reality, writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times. They're happy to vote for a bill that calls for enormous spending cuts, but when it comes to selecting actual programs to slash, the party can't get the votes. Last week, for instance, Republicans had to drop a vote on a cost-cutting transportation measure due to lack of support—even though they recently approved an "extreme austerity" budget. Shortly afterward, they voted to repeal ObamaCare for the 40th time, Krugman writes, "apparently just to make themselves feel better."

Then it was recess. "In other words, Republicans, confronted with the responsibilities of governing, essentially threw a tantrum, then ran off to sulk," Krugman writes. A central problem is Paul Ryan's budget moves. He's "a magic-asterisk kind of guy—someone who makes big claims about having a plan to slash deficits but refuses to spell out any of the all-important details." But turning the "big talk into actual legislation" isn't feasible. "Yet Republicans aren’t willing to face up to that reality. Instead, they’re just running away." Click for Krugman's full column. (More House Republicans stories.)

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