When President Obama came into the oval office the labor force was shrinking at catastrophic levels. This type of job loss was a result of policies that are substantially still in effect. What really stopped the job losses was a Keynesian stimulus that put money into the hands of Americans and employers who would spend it. While the Obama stimulus was too small it was the only politically viable option not because of Republicans but because of Blue Dog Democrats that refused to fight for the American citizens based on mathematical and economic principles as opposed to ideological nonsense. It is important to recall that Republicans are correct when they state that the first few months of the Obama administration Democrats could have passed any laws they wanted. If Democrats had the discipline of Republicans we would have had a single payer healthcare system as well as a right size stimulus and a now booming economy. Sadly as I have indicated in many blogs, many Democrats are bought off by moneyed interest just like most of the Republicans.
Sadly, the stimulus & bailouts were just enough to stop an economic fall into the abyss but did little to stem the decline of the middle class which continues. As Robert Reich poignantly points out in his book Beyond Outrage, all the new jobs that came back were back at much lower wages. Even the much touted GM comeback came at lower wages.
We are still living under an economy with many supply side policies (e.g., low to zero taxes on the wealthy, lower taxes on capital gains, lower taxes on corporations, lax regulations) and free trade policies that were not only preached but effected since President Ronald Reagan brought in this new era of business over humanity at all cost. A Senate with Blue Dog Democrats and unyielding crop of Republicans that require 60 vote majorities to pass any bill of substance ensure that the president could make little change to these policies in the aggregate. President Obama is in effect governing over a Republican economy.
Romney has vowed that if elected he would dismantle the Obama economy. He says he will adopt Paul Ryan’s budget. I read a Paul Krugman’s New York Times article this morning titled The Republican Economy. What was ironic is after watching him on ThisWeek it is exactly what I wanted to blog about today. This passage was prescient:
So the Republican electoral strategy is, in effect, a gigantic con game: it depends on convincing voters that the bad economy is the result of big-spending policies that President Obama hasn’t followed (in large part because the G.O.P. wouldn’t let him), and that our woes can be cured by pursuing more of the same policies that have already failed.
For some reason, however, neither the press nor Mr. Obama’s political team has done a very good job of exposing the con.
What do I mean by saying that this is already a Republican economy? Look first at total government spending — federal, state and local. Adjusted for population growth and inflation, such spending has recently been falling at a rate not seen since the demobilization that followed the Korean War.
How is that possible? Isn’t Mr. Obama a big spender? Actually, no; there was a brief burst of spending in late 2009 and early 2010 as the stimulus kicked in, but that boost is long behind us. Since then it has been all downhill. Cash-strapped state and local governments have laid off teachers, firefighters and police officers; meanwhile, unemployment benefits have been trailing off even though unemployment remains extremely high.
I read Paul Ryan’s budget. There is not much there except for the constant clamor to cut more taxes on business and the wealthy. Sadly those cuts are at the expense of Medicare, Medicaid, Education, and every program designed to help Americans become self-sufficient members of the working middle class.
Mitt Romney shows that while he may know how to make a dollar yesterday for himself that will last a lifetime (after all he is still getting millions yearly from companies he along with Bain Capital have extracted wealth out of) he does not understand how to maintain a sustainable economy of a country.
How can you support policies that continue to export jobs under the pretense that it is low skill jobs when at home you are cutting education to support high skilled jobs? How can you support the bastardization of the American tax base by continuously cutting taxes on those who benefit the most from our infrastructure (interstates, airports, & ports are the arteries of our commerce) while asking the working middle class to pay more (tolls, privatized roads, fees, etc.)? How can you support deregulation policies that are sure to bring back the type of pollution, worker injuries, and citizen injuries (from lax food safety, equipment safety, etc.).
Americans should fear the current state of our economy. The wealth disparity and income disparity means the middle class does not have the purchasing power to keep an economy that can support the wages we are used to. This does not matter to our elite. After all, we are in a global market and after they have tapped out the Americans there are many other countries to mine. A Romney economy, a Republican economy on steroids will extract all that is left of the middle class.
I write a lot about what is wrong. Sometimes it makes one feel helpless in that many already know there is much wrong. The question is what you do about it. My dear readers, you act. You get into organizations where collectively we can act. You join groups like the Coffee Party, Move To Amend, or activist groups locally. We are currently ill-informed by “the Liberal Media (CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC) and lied to by Right Wing media (Fox News, Right Wing Talk Radio and blogs). We must seek out the information and spread it ourselves. Only with viral truth being dispersed by us can we neutralize false advertising and start the mobilization of our fellow Americans so that they will vote in their own interest, the interest of their families, and the interest of their country.