Republicans unveiled their jobs plan Monday, although anyone who'd been semi-conscious at any point during the past thirty years would know to take that lofty rhetoric with a grain or ton of salt, as the Republicans' jobs plan was exactly the same as their plan to slow down the economy if there happened to be too many jobs. It was also their environmental plan, their space exploration plan, their good-weather plan, their rainy day plan, their chocolate pudding plan, and their plan to mollify spouses incensed at their infidelity.
The Republicans jobs plan was - altogether now - to lower taxes on the rich, and slash spending on everyone else.
In this particular case, Republicans' slashing featured gutting the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the National Labor Relations Board, and disemboweling any number of business and environmental regulations. Aside from coddling oil magnates and coal moguls, the GOP was keen on increasing the number and lethality of America's cancer clusters, and making sure that it was even easier than it already was for big business to rip off workers and ordinary consumers.
The Republicans' designated attack dog, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) wrote,"By pursuing a steady repeal of job-destroying regulations, we can lift the cloud of uncertainty hanging over small and large employers alike."
The only uncertainty Cantor's plan addressed was how toxic a wasteland America would be after Republicans were finished with it.
Cantor and the GOP figured the best things for America would be to prevent the National Labor Relations Board to have relations with labor, and to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from protecting the environment. Coal burners cheered.
Of course, a real jobs plan would include eliminating taxes on the first $50,000 people made, and making up for it by taxing the top gazillion dollars people made to within an inch of its life. A real jobs plan would fix the $2 trillion worth of infrastructure that needed repairing. A real jobs plan would pump money into education, research, science and technology.
Republicans, of course, were opposed to science and technology. Republicans would have folks focus on prayer and cutting big, fat checks to TV evangelists.
Any real jobs plan would necessarily start with tossing Republican politicians, and probably TV evangelists, out of work, then getting down to some serious stimulus spending.
That Republicans whined and screamed and howled that the 2009 $800 billion stimulus plan didn't work, and to the extent that people nodded knowingly in agreement just went to show how little people understood how little the $800 billion stimulus plan was, and how little effect people should have expected it to have.
Never mind that the puny $800 billion stimulus plan actually kept the nation from sliding further into the worst economic downturn since Bonnie met Clyde. Never mind that most of the $800 billion stimulus plan was in tax breaks which were, for the most part, useless.
And never most of all mind that the $800 billion stimulus plan was supposed to be a $1.2 trillion dollar stimulus plan the Republicans gutted to make sure the economy they and George W. Bush crashed stayed crashed.
Never mind that a 1.2 trillion-inflation-adjusted-dollar stimulus wouldn't have been anywhere near enough anyway, as any economist worth his Nobel Prize would tell you.
While Democrats and responsible economists would tell you, in dicey economic times, the government, as the consumer of last resort, should be spending more to stimulate the economy, not slashing spending to further depress the economy, Republicans would be happy to tell you that all the stimulus Franklin Delano Roosevelt spent on the WPA and the CCC and the TVA and the whole truckload of Alpha Bits cereal didn't work either.
Republicans would tell you the United States didn't pull itself out of its economic malaise until World War II interrupted everyone's regularly scheduled programming.
Which, contrary to Republican demagoguery, only revealed exactly how much spending the government really needed to spend to really pull the nation out of the Great Depression.
Contrary to Republican demagoguery, and notwithstanding people's astonishing inability to connect dot a with dot b, FDR didn't stop spending because World War II cut into tonight's episode of The Shadow. FDR increased spending for the war. A lot. A whole lot. A really, really, really unbelievably astronomically huge whole lot.
During the Second World War, the United States of America produced ten battleships. Plus, 23 aircraft carriers. Plus, 200 submarines. 300 destroyers. 600 PT boats. One thousand Landing Ship Tanks (LSTs). 3,282 Liberty and Victory ships.
During the Second World War, the United States of America produced 297,000 aircraft, including 12,731 B-17 Flying Fortresses and 18,482 B-24 Liberators. The U.S. of A. cranked out 86,000 tanks, including 49,234 M-4 Shermans. 193,000 artillery pieces. Two million trucks. And the Millions and millions and millions of bullets, bombs, shells, rockets, mines and torpedoes all those planes and tanks and ships and guns were built to deliver.
Rifles, machine guns, bazookas, mortars, grenades, uniforms, K-rations, search lights, head lights and flash lights. Back packs, canteens, boots, socks, bandoliers, cartridge holders, helmets, parachutes, bandages, shovels, tents, and suntan lotion. Not to mention the boxes everything came in, and the wherewithal to haul it anywhere and everywhere in the world. To North African deserts. To South Pacific jungles. To Western Europe. To the Eastern Front. Even Coca Cola was tagged as an essential war material, exempting it from sugar rationing, and any soldier on any front line anywhere in the world could get a Coke and smile even while ducking enemy artillery fire. Talk about it absolutely, positively having to get there.
Put that into your WPA and smoke it.
And, while Republicans scream that business and industry couldn't possibly function unless the ultra-wealthy had their taxes slashed to zero, FDR raised income taxes on the richest Americans to 88%, shortly before he raised them to 94%.
And taxes on the richest Americans stayed up over 90% until John F. Kennedy slashed them to 70%. But JFK closed a bunch of loopholes, too.
And during this period, with taxes on the richest Americans ranging from 70%-94%, the United States of America defeated fascism and the Nazis and the Empire of Japan, destroyed most of the major cities in the Old World, then rebuilt all those cities, plus the countries those cities were in, plus built America's interstate freeway system, and more dams and bridges and levees than you could count, and schools and libraries in case you still wanted to count them anyway, and a GI bill that sent everyone to college or technical schools so you knew how to count, and hospitals for when you got a headache from all that counting. Plus, to get to or away from all the counting, airports, and seaports, and, yes, spaceports - at Vandenberg, and the Cape - and an entire space program, which featured the countdown.
During that period, the U.S. of A. developed all the technology that eventually led to computers and cable TV and satellite TV and the internet and cell phones and iPads and Twitter and flash mobs, because counting had, for the first time in history, become a largely automated process.
Today, the United States of America couldn't fill a pothole.
Which was the difference between American when it didn't coddle the rich and when it did.
And Eric Cantor claimed he had a jobs program.