“It’s time to put grownups in charge. It’s time for people willing to accept responsibility,” House Republican leader John Boehner told a civic group in Cleveland on Tuesday. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38829485/ns/politics-capitol_hill/38829485
Well, Mr. Boehner, let’s just take a look at what your alleged Republican “grownups” have done for us so far. Let’s look at your party’s fiscal and legislative responsibility.
That same day, Mr. Boehner, you also urged President Obama to support an extension of Bush-era tax cuts for the very, very, very rich.
These tax cuts for the upper 1% or 2% do not trickle down into the mainstream economy. Not enough, anyway. And there’s still nothing to balance the revenue shortfall, so the deficit would continue to expand – and that’s what you’ve all been wailing about of late, no? Just as George W. Bush did with the nation’s credit card, you would be borrowing from Peter (who hasn’t been born yet) to pay Maxmillian Worthington III.
As part of the stimulus, Obama did provide tax breaks to 95% of Americans and further tax incentives to small businesses. Those are the people who will actually spend all of their tax breaks, stimulating the economy. Get it? Stimulus = stimulating. The money flows, and everybody – even the ridiculously affluent – do better. (Remember the 1990s?)
The American Prospect notes that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has determined that the GOP-opposed stimulus has been working:
According to the CBO’s analysis, the stimulus increased GDP between 1.7 and 4.5 percent, lowered unemployment between .7 and 1.8 percentage points, and increased the number of people employed to between 1.4 million and 3.3 million.
More money for the upper tier simply turns obscenely wealthy people into grotesquely wealthy people. It also runs up the deficit like nobody’s business. Just check out the numbers during the Reagan-Bush years. http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A26402-2004Jun8?language=printer
President Clinton erased that deficit (raising taxes, by the way) http://www.factcheck.org/2008/02/the-budget-and-deficit-under-clinton/ only to have Bush 43 give huge tax breaks to his uber-wealthy supporters. Let’s remember Bush’s famous remarks to a white-tie crowd at the Waldorf-Astoria during his 2000 campaign. Referring to his audience as the “haves and have mores,” he said, “Some people call you the elite. I call you my base.”
The first graf of the above 2008 article reads: President Bush’s new budget will top $3 trillion. It envisions massive deficits for fiscal years 2008 and 2009 — nearly matching the record in 2004, when the federal budget went $412 billion into the hole.
Every bit as reckless as that was, there’s more. The Bush 43 administration also did everything it could to gut the regulation of all of its party-friendly industries:
- Banking and other financial services, including Wall Street. (No surprise there; Dubya violated federal securities laws at least four times when he was a director of a Texas oil firm in the late 1980s and early 1990s, according to an SEC report. http://www.publicintegrity.org/articles/entry/449 ) The gutting of the regulations was exacerbated by lax enforcement of the laws and regs that remained in place. Please note: When the federal government created the TARP bailout of the banks, it was under Bush, in September 2008. Both Republicans and Democrats neglected to stipulate that the banks needed to make loans to keep the economy fluid. Instead, the banks hoarded the money – and awarded big bonuses to their brilliant higher-ups.
- Mining. Nearly 40 miners and would-be rescuers were killed in a series of explosions and collapses during the Bush years. Safety enforcement was an issue in most of them. There were no fatal accidents during the Clinton administration. http://www.mining-technology.com/features/feature82279/
- Big oil. We still do not know the full effect of the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. We do know that BP was a recidivist scofflaw, but nothing was done beyond nominal fines ($373M) representing less than a week’s profit for BP (1Q of 2010, per BP’s website). From ABC World News: “In two separate disasters prior to the Gulf oil rig explosion, 30 BP workers have been killed, and more than 200 seriously injured. … OSHA statistics show BP ran up 760 ‘egregious, willful’ safety violations, while Sunoco and Conoco-Phillips each had eight, Citgo had two and Exxon had one comparable citation.” http://abcnews.go.com/WN/bps-dismal-safety-record/story?id=10763042
When President Obama called for a moratorium on new offshore drilling, the Republican “grownups” shrieked about how unfair that was to their friends. Mr. Barton of Texas referred to Obama’s holding BP financially accountable for the mess it made as a “shakedown.”
Along the way to trying to put the country back to work, trying to curb citizens’ health care burden at 16% of the GDP (lest it rise to 20% and even 25% percent in the coming decade if left unchecked), and lending (that’s right, lending – NOT giving) money to American carmakers to keep them solvent, Obama and the Democrats kept persevering while the “grownups” on the right squealed and lied and called people names and cajoled, anything to get their way.
They have also resorted to the filibuster at a record pace. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=9974807 The Republicans, frustrated at not being in control and willfully oblivious to the American mood, have literally hurled themselves onto the floor – the Senate floor – to obstruct progress, like so many recalcitrant toddlers in supermarket aisles. When it’s pointed out to them that Americans overwhelming elected Obama and a slew of Democrats in the House and Senate, the Republicans fall back on the nebulous and absurd, “That not what the American people want!” Translation: “That’s not what I want!” Alternative translation: Sticking fingers in their ears, yelling, “Lalalalalalala! I can’t hear you! Lalalalalalalalala!”
So much for your grownups, Mr. Boehner.