the low spark of the high heeled

A thrilling new standard for “leadership” is unveiled in today’s State Journal editorial praising Congressman Reid Ribble (R-Appleton): “Ribble shows leadership on debt”.

Ribble says a) he’s open to closing some tax loopholes, and b) he’s not going to re-sign Grover Norquist’s famous anti-tax pledge.

It IS a step in the right direction, a teensy-weensy baby step. You wouldn’t think it would garner an editorial 100 miles away, but it IS true that many of Ribble’s Republican colleagues are locked in a race to appear ever more rigid and foolish on the subject of taxes.  So even a spark of good sense from the Honorable Mr. Ribble is welcome.

But then the editorial ruins it all for Rep. Ribble:

…he’s still opposed to raising tax rates.

We have referred to this chart before, and will again. It is the chart that James Fallows has called The Chart That Should Accompany Every Discussion of Deficits.  It is, again, a quick lesson in how Congressman Ribble and the Wisconsin State Journal have no apparent understanding of what is causing annual federal deficits. 

Source: CBPP analysis based on Congressional Budget Office estimates. See full analysis at

We need to end our wars (or impose surtaxes to pay for them), end the Bush tax cuts, and end the recession (which would temporarily increase the deficit). In year 2000 we had a balanced budget. Eight years of Bush Republicanism brought us the chart above. The country needs to undo what was done.