Deficit concern trolling is an excuse for austerity; no one cares about it – not even the Koch Brothers

When right-wingers — especially rich ones — talk about the federal deficit (“But what about The Deficit?! Did you think of that?”), it is just disingenuous concern trolling; it is a cynical yet effective way to reject social spending, to oppose funding government programs that actually help working-class and oppressed people, and to continue to expand crippling austerity measures that bleed workers dry while fattening the wallets of the 1 percent.

Journalist Adam Johnson has joked, “When I die, I want on my tombstone, ‘Nobody actually cares about deficits’.” And he’s completely right.

A leaked Koch Brothers internal strategy memo obtained by Lee Fang of The Intercept spells this out clearly. The hard-right billionaires give advise on how to sell tax cuts for the rich: ignore the deficit.

Even the Kochs, the most powerful right-wing operatives on the planet, don’t actually care about the deficit. No one does. It’s just a pretense.

Johnson and his co-host Nima Shirazi did a great episode of their podcast Citations Needed dissecting this very issue, on how the US federal deficit is weaponized to oppose social spending.

At the end of the day, reactionaries don’t actually want to end the deficit; they just want to pretend they’re managing it — while blowing $700 billion per year on “defense” spending.

I am certainly no fan of the economist Paul Krugman, but even he wrote a brief blog post on this topic: “Nobody Cares About the Deficit.”