Email #46, Subject: balanced budget or Obamacare repeal?

Thank you for your letter declaring your support for a balanced budget amendment. I am especially pleased to see that your position on this issue did not change because a Republican is entering the White House tomorrow. You supported this amendment under Obama, and you continue to support it under Trump. I commend that principled consistency.

I am, however, confused then why you undermined the Budget Office by barring them from calculating and reporting the cost of repealing the Affordable Care Act. If you wish to “put an end to deficit spending” as you state, this information is vital. The last estimate was $350 billion. Repealing the ACA will not only prevent Congress from balancing the budget, it will add greatly to the long-term deficit, two problems you claim are your top concerns.

I don’t understand how to interpret this extreme inconsistency. Do you believe the costs of the ACA repeal somehow don’t count? I understand you want both, but, as you say: “Families all across our nation understand what it means to make tough decisions each day about what they can and cannot afford and government officials should be required to exercise similar restraint when spending the hard-earned dollars of our nation’s citizens.”

Your contradictory positions suggest you are not living up to your own standard. Instead of ranking the repeal against its costs and making the tough decision of which matters more, you appear to be showing no restraint and pretending that you can have both. You can’t. Please acknowledge that financial fact and change one of your positions accordingly.

Author: Chris Gavaler

Chris Gavaler is an associate professor at W&L University, comics editor of Shenandoah, and series editor of Bloomsbury Critical Guides in Comics Studies. He has published two novels: School for Tricksters (SMU 2011) and Pretend I’m Not Here (HarperCollins 2002); and six books of scholarship: On the Origin of Superheroes (Iowa 2015), Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury 2017), Superhero Thought Experiments (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Iowa 2019), Revising Fiction, Fact, and Faith (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Routledge 2020), Creating Comics (with Leigh Ann Beavers, Bloomsbury 2021), and The Comics Form (Bloomsbury forthcoming). His visual work appears in Ilanot Review, North American Review, Aquifer, and other journals.

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