Everyone knows that, in a recession, you have to pump up spending to dig yourself out of the hole. In a deep recession, the government becomes the spender of last resort. The government should spend like a drunken sailor with a chest of gold doubloons on a two-day liberty. The government should build roads, bridges, dams, railroads, office buildings, and outhouses, then cover them with murals, mosaics, organic moss or macaroons. The government should start a space program or a sea island survey. The government should try to build a nationwide clean energy grid and hook everyone up to it.
The idea is to put money into the hands of all the people you hire for these projects, so they could buy groceries, and school supplies, and clothes, and big screen TVs, and spark demand to ramp up hiring by the snivelling profit-mongers in the private sector.
Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning Economics Professor from Princeton, has repeated warned that not spending enough would doom America to the doldrums for years, and that the current Washington Beltway obsession with cutting spending is just plain crazy. He points out that austerity measures in England, Ireland and Portugal have backfired, and those countries are slipping backward.
Yet the Republicans are obsessed with slashing every program vital to American democracy, from banking regulation, to environmental protection, to education, to emergency preparedness to a woman's right to choose. These measures and others are calculated to destroy the main obstacle preventing the GOP's plutocrat masters free reign: the United States of America.
It is no coincidence that the US and Europe are in the crosshairs of right-wing politicians doing the bidding of the trans-national plutocrats. The US and the western democracies are the main obstacle preventing the plutocrats from running their businesses the way they can in China or Russia. The US and European democracies have, up to now, demanded tolerable working conditions, a certain amount of transparency in business transactions, a certain regard for environmental impact, education for their children, and, in much of the world, health care for their people.
The plutocrats have, through statutory tax evasion, managed to build up their strength to the tune of owning 84% of everything in America. Now that they can buy off the politicians, tilt the elections, and strangle any dissent by sending hordes of lawyers to bury any opposition under mountains of legal briefs, the plutocrats see no need to have to put up with the needs and hopes and aspirations of millions of Americans and Europeans.
The plutocrats have used up Americans' labor, raided their pension funds, and plan on mopping up by plundering the Social Security trust funds, the last big cache of money Americans have left. Their Republican vassals have been tasked to destroy everything necessary to administer American culture. On the very day of the catastrophic Japan tsunami, Republicans voted to cut tsunami warning.
Republicans, like hired thugs anywhere, can think no further than toadying up to the corporate masters who toss trinkets their way. When the big-money lobby or 501 PAC tells them to kill someone's grandmother by taking away her Social Security and Medicare, Republicans fight to be the first to trample the poor woman's throat. Theirs' is the mentality of the slave overseer, the death squad gunman, and the Nazi prison guard.
What Paul Krugman doesn't realize is that Republicans and their plutocrat puppet masters want to crush American economic recovery so they could do away with minimum wages and child labor laws and occupational health and safety rules and anti-pollution laws. The plutocrats don't need America anymore, because they're getting rich in China, and India, and throughout the emerging world. The plutocrats don't need Europe anymore, with all the Europeans' demands for a limited work week and vacations and free health care.
That is why the plutocrats' puppet politicians are pushing austerity and slashing government projects, when, in tough economic times, governments should be doing exactly the opposite. All that mumbo-jumbo about debt and bond markets the puppet pols mutter on and on about is all a bunch of hooey. All the puppet pols care about is stealing as much as possible for their masters, and destroying the countries and cultures that would rein their masters in.
Capitalism without prudent taxation results in plutocracy. If America and the western democracies want a return to democracy, they will have to implement sufficient taxes to curtail the plutocrats' ability to reign using the blunt instrument of overwhelming wealth.