The United States is in debt and running a deficit. Two parties frame the situation differently to define their solutions as correct and hide their subjectivity.
Democrats frame a deficit problem as “Spending more than we take in” – or if in a particularly taxing mood “Taking in less than we spend.” The logical solution is to raise taxes, cut spending, or do both. When the problem is severe and everything is on the table you do both.
Republicans frame a deficit problem as “We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem.” Increasing revenue then isn’t a bad solution we should avoid – its not a solution in the first place.
Either frame can be defended readily, depending on what you consider to be problematic. How about this then: US Rep Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill) is introducing a bill , which would have the government hire many people as teachers, construction workers, police, etc.
Let’s hear a reaction from Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady: “It also makes me think she does not know about basic economics. Government does not create jobs. This is just one of her many redistribution schemes. It didn’t work when they spent $862 billion on the stimulus. It is amazing to me with what everything that has occurred in the past year, she would come out with something like this. It makes no sense on a variety of different levels.”
Brady has introduced two frames I want to note.
1) “They” spent $862 billion: The stimulus added $862 billion to the deficit, but much of that figure comes from tax cuts a.k.a. revenue decreases. If cutting taxes is a form of spending then does ending a tax break constitute cutting spending?
2) “Government does not create jobs”: Brady is responding to a bill that proposes the government pays people money in exchange for work. You know, hire them. Brady opposes this with the supporting point that “government does not create jobs”. I interpret this literally as a simple falsehood. If anyone finds this frame appealing, please explain why this frame appeals to you and how you interpret it.