Friday, August 5, 2011

GOP Debt Ceiling Bomb Was Economic Weapon of Mass Destruction

Republicans bent on destroying Barack Obama's Presidency and avowed to holding the President to a single term were doubtless jubilant surveying the devastation wrought Thursday by the detonation of their economic weapon of mass destruction.

Even as news of the Republican-coddling cuts-only deficit reduction package hit the media, the world's financial markets were tumbling. A couple of days later, they collapsed. The Dow Jones Industrial average dropped 513 points in a day, and markets around the world fell 2%-4%. The New York Stock Exchange was down 10% in two weeks.

Financiers and money moguls took a breather Friday as they gleefully contemplated gorging themselves on the billions of Euros they'd succeeded in brow-beating out of the European Central Bank. Friday's global equity slide was temporarily mitigated  by news the ECB would be dumping billions into the money moguls' troughs by buying dodgy Spanish and Italian debt, allowing the plutocrat gluttons to briefly feast on European taxpayers rather than American ones.

Slightly better-than-horrific July employment figures temporarily distracted the tycoons as well, as the US economy added 117,000 jobs and unemployment fell to 9.1%, the latter mostly because more discouraged workers had just stopped looking.

Every credible economist knows that in dicey economic times, governments become the consumer of last resort and must pump stimulus into the economy. Only right-wing idiot logs feverishly ingratiating themselves with Rupert Murdoch and his ilk on Fox News and at Tea Party conclaves spout the long-disgraced boiler-plate supply-side drivel that's never done anything except sow misery while concentrating 84% of America's wealth in the hands of just 20% of its people.

In the midst of a very dicey economy, Republicans brow-beat Obama and Democrats into accepting a scheme to hack $2.8 trillion out of the it. If, in dicey economic times, governments are supposed to be stimulating the economy with spending, they certainly shouldn't be depressing it with egregious spending cuts. If governments are supposed to be passing stimulus bills, they certainly shouldn't be passing depressant bills.

But that is exactly what Republicans harangued America into doing. In a New York minute, the uncertain business climate magnates huddled in their counting houses worried over was replaced by the absolute certainty that there would be no stimulus spending coming from the world's largest economy.

As the world's economies plummeted toward the second dip of a double-dip recession, there was doubtless dancing in the halls of Republican office suites. Having orchestrated skyrocketing gas prices and plunging government spending, they'd succeeded in destroying the nascent economic recovery, and could hang all the blame on Obama.

Whether you call it the Boehner Bomb or the McConnell Massacre, the disastrous slashing of $2.8 trillion dollars out of an economy desperately treading water was guaranteed to plunge the world into economic oblivion. The debt worries in Greece were an infinitesimal annoyance. The concern over Italian deficits was a mild inconvenience. Spain, Portugal, and Ireland were unconscionably choreographed crises manufactured by greedy bankers. The Republican crippling of American economic vitality was a nuclear Armageddon.

The only question was which Republican cronies made fortunes short-selling the down market Republicans engineered.

And having detonated their weapon of economic mass destruction, Republicans, drunk with success and power, erupted into an orgy of hip-swaying, fist-pumping, finger-shaking, football-spiking end zone dances.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) Wednesday gleefully taunted, "promises have been made that frankly are not going to be kept" as Republicans focused once again on gutting and voucherizing Medicare. Cantor's taunting proved Republicans would stop at nothing to keep their pledges to Grover Norquist, while blithely breaking their pledges to the American people.

"When you see what the President has done to the economy in just three years, you know why America doesn't want to find out what he can do in eight," howled Presidential pretender Mitt Romney, confident audiences with protozoan attention spans wouldn't recall it was Republicans that crashed the economy and made sure they keep their jackboots on its throat.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) shook her pom poms and jeered, "with 9.1% unemployment, it is still evidence that the President's failed economic policies are digging us deeper into a hole," without elaborating that it was Republicans who were holding the guns while they forced their hostages to dig their own graves.

Even the pitiful lesser Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, crowed, "Today's dismal jobs report is a far cry from the hope and change that President Obama promised," without explaining it was Republican intransigence that obstructed any real economic stimulus package capable of extricating the nation from the elephantine catastrophe Republicans had created.

In every case, the Republican solution, as always, as ever, as once and for all eternity, was More Tax Cuts for the Wealthy, More Spending Cuts on Everyone Else. Whatever else they might do, Republicans do spike the football, right in their victims' faces.

All across the nation, through the Republican tirade of taunting could be heard Jim Jones' chilling exhortation to drink the Kool-Aid. All across the nation, Americans, in their tens of millions, were lining up to eagerly guzzle their grape-flavored draught of economic death.

Or were they? The latest New York Times/CBS poll revealed 72% of Americans disapproved of Republicans' handling of the debt ceiling deal. 75% of voters didn't think most lawmakers deserved to be re-elected.

59% believed the federal budget deficit was caused either by George W. Bush (44%) or Congress (15%), versus only 15% who thought Obama was to blame.

While President Obama's 48% approval rating was nothing to write home about, the NYT/CBS poll found Congress' approval rating was an infinitesimal 14%. Fully 82% of Americans disapproved of the job Congress was doing. Clearly, Obama's low approval rating was largely due to his obeisance to Republicans.

And, despite Republican exhortations to drink the supply-side Kool-Aid and slash taxes for the rich, 63% of Americans wanted to raise taxes on those making $250,000 a year or more to reduce the nation's deficit.

Clearly, Obama must tax the Republicans' ultra-wealthy patrons and cronies, and embark on a vigorous campaign to rebuild and revitalize America. America needs $2 trillion just to rebuild its crumbling infrastructure. America needs trillions more to pioneer the innovations and technologies of the future. Americans are ready.

But is the President?

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