For many years now, Republicans have had no reservations about growing a record-setting deficit looking for non-existent WMDs and any amount of admonishment over the debt we were creating was shot down with spittle-flecked cries of treason. Now that Democrats want to spend a gob of money in an attempt to mitigate an increasingly burdensome recession, Republicans like Senator John Cornyn have the gall to bring up how it will be our children and grandchildren paying off the proposed stimulus package.
I’m left to conclude that, to the Republican mind, having future generations pay for what boils down to retributive mass murder is patriotic, while attempting to avoid an even worse depression than that of the 30s-40s by injecting money into the U.S. economy is akin to systematically dismantling the Great American Way of Life.
Sorry. I don’t get it. My nation’s ability to kick everyone’s ass and impose her belief systems upon them has never been a part of what I saw as the American Dream. I’ve always appreciated America’s willingness to defend freedom all over the world, but it’s what happens inside our borders that really defines what it is to be American. When I see kids climbing aboard a yellow school bus, I see the American Dream. When I watch Karin utilize public transit daily, fully undaunted by the possibility of a suicide bomber being aboard*, I see the American Dream. Protesters shouting about the oppression of Tibet or the insidious practices of the tobacco industry or the coming of the Holy Rapture are living the American Dream. Those people who tried to buy a house they couldn’t afford were trying to live the American Dream, but ended up being the unfortunate casualties of the very same deregulatory mentality that got us this staggeringly fucked economy.
I’ve no doubt President Obama’s stimulus plan gets hard-core right-wingers all sorts of twitchy and rabid. It might surprise some of you to learn that it makes me furious, as well – just not for the same reasons. I’m inclined to agree with brilliant economists like James Galbraith on this sort of thing. Galbraith suggests we need to increase the package as much as possible.
“…demonstrating that the stimulus is too small is a matter of basic math. The $400 billion it will inject into the economy each of the next two years is equal to about two to three percent of GDP, he noted. But the economy is falling at a much faster rate …
“For the stimulus to be able to turn around an economy spiraling down at that rate, the money injected into the economy would have to be multiplied many times over. But, Galbraith says, the economy is currently stuck in a "liquidity trap." People aren't spending because they're insecure about the future; companies aren't borrowing and expanding because the business climate looks stormy; and banks aren't lending because when the economy's tanking almost everyone looks like a bad credit risk…
“Galbraith hopes that Obama won't play along [with Republicans ‘playing chicken’ with the economy] and… argues that the president should instead do everything that needs to be done and add it up when the storm passes.”
I think Charles Hugh Smith put it quite well when he wrote:
"Human nature dictates that our first and last reaction to unsustainable systems will be denial until the flood has swept away all hope of repairing the broken dikes."
So, peeps, now that the NeoCons have been allowed to waste trillions on a war that accomplished next to nothing and have deregulated the banking industry with undeniably devastating consequences, don’t you sort of think it’s time for us to start demanding that a shitload of money be used for something constructive for a change? The economy sucks and the only way to fix it is to keep buying and stop wasting. The dike metaphor employed by Smith in the above quote really is quite apropos. We can’t be skimping on the sandbags.
*Please see this comment for clarification. Karin's courage has nothing to do with George W. Bush's cowardice.