How to Spank the Economy (Part 2)

August 24th, 2011

A follow-up to Going All-In With a Losing Hand, inspired by How to spank the economy (Eric Cantor, The Washington Post 8/22/11).

 

Eric, Eric, Eric:

 

I could go on and on, but I won’t:

Instead, I’ll restrain myself (you don’t).

 

Still, I can’t help but make these few additional notes

About what your supposed jobs “plan” promotes.

 

“Our country is facing two related but separate crises. The first is the federal government’s debt crisis, the result of decades of fiscal mismanagement by both political parties as well as unsustainable entitlement commitments.”

 

Actually, it’s more accurately described as just one decade of mis-management. Bush and the GOP, remember, were the ones who doubled our national debt and left a legacy of tax cuts for the rich, un-funded wars, a financial meltdown caused by deregulation and inadequate oversight, and the worst recession since the Great Depression, all of which remain the main reasons for our current deficits and constitute the bulk of our national debt.

 

“Americans are out of work. In fact, the Obama administration’s anti-business, hyper-regulatory, pro-tax agenda has fueled economic uncertainty and sent the message from the administration that ‘we want to make it harder to create jobs.’”

 

Seriously, Eric? Anti-business? Hyper-regulatory? Pro-tax? Obama implemented the biggest tax cut in history as part of the stimulus that you constantly pillory and say created no jobs. Is it just that GOP tax cuts create jobs and Dem ones don’t? And it would be nice if Repubs would support actual job-creation measures instead of just reflexively opposing them.

 

“Since taking office, he has added trillions to the debt, ignored the recommendations of his own fiscal commission and put forth a budget that failed to address the drivers of our debt.”

 

Obama didn’t ignore his commission’s recommendation, you did. He wanted to automatically fast-track it for Congressional review, but Republicans opposed that. The plan did not even make it out of committee due in part to Republican opposition.

 

“Then we had to drag him to the table to make even the modest spending cuts that Standard & Poor’s says don’t go far enough.”

 

S&P said the deficit cuts didn’t go far enough, which was because you and the Tea Party blocked a bigger deficit reduction because it included modest loophole-closing revenue increases. S&P also said that the main reason for their downgrade (the first ever in U.S. history) was because of the debt-ceiling brinksmanship that you and the Tea Party perpetrated. And you “had to drag him to the table”? Ironic that you’d say that, since it was you and Boehner that repeatedly threw fits and walked out of the negotiations.

 

“The president has acknowledged that without reform, spending on entitlement programs is unsustainable. But he has also made clear that he would never support the type of structural changes to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security needed to make these programs solvent as envisioned in our budget.”

 

The key part there (and the only part that makes it arguably true) is the artful and misleading “as envisioned in our budget.” President Obama has repeatedly stated that he supports structural reform to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security as part of a balanced deficit reduction approach. What he has rejected is the kind of “reform” which Paul Ryan proposed and House Republicans approved “as envisioned in our budget”: replacement of Medicare with a privatized voucher program that would shift costs to the elderly, and gutting Medicaid by cutting funding and shifting responsibility for it to the states. Social Security was not addressed in Paul Ryan’s budget as you claim, but Republicans have also proposed it’s privatization in the past, to resounding popular opposition. The kicker: All those draconian cuts in the Ryan/GOP budget were in fact not to make Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security more solvent. The lion’s share of those “savings” were instead to be used for… you guessed it: more tax cuts for the rich, in addition (of course) to preserving the Bush Administration ones.

 

“That is why this fall the Republican Party will pursue a legislative agenda that boosts economic growth through reducing the regulatory and tax burden. We will make sure that Washington policies are less restrictive to businesses small and large. Our goals include repealing the ‘3 percent withholding rule,’ which serves as an effective tax increase on those who do business with the government, and overturning the EPA’s proposed regulations that inhibit jobs in areas as varied as cement and farm dust. We plan to prevent the NLRB from inhibiting where a business chooses to create jobs.”

 

Yeah, further cut regulations on Big Business and taxes for the rich—that really worked well when you did it under Bush, who may have been the only President in American history to create no net new jobs in his entire presidency. And way to think big with the “3 percent withholding rule” on government contractors—I’m sure getting rid of that will create tons of jobs. The NLRB? They don’t care where businesses create jobs, they just don’t want businesses to close and move plants as an anti-union tactic. And farm dust?

***

How about some economic policy ideas that might actually work? Click here to read some of mine, and sign this petition to tell the President and Congress that America needs jobs and economic growth. And sorry Eric, but your “plan” will provide neither.

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