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Why Budget Reform Matters

Guest-blogging for Josh Marshall yesterday, Matt Yglesias gave me a shout-out for predicting several months ago that the administration's proposal for limits on farm subsidy payments would get transmogrified by Congress into food stamp cuts. I wish this meant I was some kind of analytical wizard, but frankly, this development was all too predictable, not just because conservative Republicans love wealthy farmers more than po' folks, but because the congressional budget process promotes precisely this kind of trade-off. If you are interested in this line of reasoning, and why progressives should embrace the kind of serious budget reforms that make it possible to establish national priorities beyond the cramped and parochial interests of congressional committee and subcommittee barons, check out my earlier post on the subject.Meanwhile, I am wondering more than ever if my other big prediction, that GOPers would eventually segue from Social Security privatization to a proposal for "tax reform" allowing high earners to shelter most of their investment income, will come true now that Bush's SocSec campaign is way off in the high weeds.
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