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Forum Post: Republicans Deliberately Crashed & Sobotaged the US Economy!

Posted 2 years ago on Nov. 3, 2012, 10:53 a.m. EST by WSmith (1377) from Cornelius, OR
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Did Republicans deliberately crash the US economy? [YES!]

Be it ideology or stratagem, the GOP has blocked pro-growth policy and backed job-killing austerity – all while blaming Obama

    Michael Cohen   
    guardian.co.uk, Saturday 9 June 2012 09.00 EDT

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., House Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor of Va., and House Speaker-designate John Boehner of Ohio, leave a news conference, on Capitol Hill in Washington Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010, where they talked about their meeting at the White House with President Obama. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Republican party congressional leadership (left to right): Senate Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell, House majority leader Eric Cantor, and House speaker John Boehner, after the 2010 midterms. Photograph: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

So why does the US economy stink?

Why has job creation in America slowed to a crawl? Why, after several months of economic hope, are things suddenly turning sour? The culprits might seem obvious – uncertainty in Europe, an uneven economic recovery, fiscal and monetary policymakers immobilized and incapable of acting. But increasingly, Democrats are making the argument that the real culprit for the country's economic woes lies in a more discrete location: with the Republican Party.

In recent days, Democrats have started coming out and saying publicly what many have been mumbling privately for years – Republicans are so intent on defeating President Obama for re-election that they are purposely sabotaging the country's economic recovery. These charges are now being levied by Democrats such as Senate majority leader Harry Reid and Obama's key political adviser, David Axelrod.

For Democrats, perhaps the most obvious piece of evidence of GOP premeditated malice is the 2010 quote from Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell:

"The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

Such words lead some to the conclusion that Republicans will do anything, including short-circuiting the economy, in order to hurt Obama politically. Considering that presidents – and rarely opposition parties – are held electorally responsible for economic calamity, it's not a bad political strategy.

Then again, it's a hard accusation to prove: after all, one person's economic sabotage is another person's principled anti-government conservatism.

Beyond McConnell's words, though, there is circumstantial evidence to make the case. Republicans have opposed a lion's share of stimulus measures that once they supported, such as a payroll tax break, which they grudgingly embraced earlier this year. Even unemployment insurance, a relatively uncontroversial tool for helping those in an economic downturn, has been consistently held up by Republicans or used as a bargaining chip for more tax cuts. Ten years ago, prominent conservatives were loudly making the case for fiscal stimulus to get the economy going; today, they treat such ideas like they're the plague.

Traditionally, during economic recessions, Republicans have been supportive of loose monetary policy. Not this time. Rather, Republicans have upbraided Ben Bernanke, head of the Federal Reserve, for even considering policies that focus on growing the economy and creating jobs.

And then, there is the fact that since the original stimulus bill passed in February of 2009, Republicans have made practically no effort to draft comprehensive job creation legislation. Instead, they continue to pursue austerity policies, which reams of historical data suggest harms economic recovery and does little to create jobs. In fact, since taking control of the House of Representatives in 2011, Republicans have proposed hardly a single major jobs bill that didn't revolve, in some way, around their one-stop solution for all the nation's economic problems: more tax cuts.

Still, one can certainly argue – and Republicans do – that these steps are all reflective of conservative ideology. If you view government as a fundamentally bad actor, then stopping government expansion is, on some level, consistent.

So, let's put aside the conspiracy theories for a moment, and look more closely at how the country is faring under the GOP's economic leadership.

As Paul Krugman wrote earlier this week, in the New York Times, while a Democrat rests his head each night in the White House, the United States is currently operating with a Republican economy. After winning the House of Representatives in 2010, the GOP brokered a deal to keep the Bush tax cuts in place, which has reduced the tax burden as a percentage of GDP to its lowest point since Harry Truman sat in the White House. At the insistence of the White House, Congress also agreed to extend unemployment benefits and enact a payroll tax cut – measures that provided a small but important stimulus to the economy, but above all, maintained the key GOP position that taxes must never go up.

But as Congress giveth, Congress also taketh. The GOP's zealotry on tax cuts is only matched by its zealotry in pursuing austerity policies. In the spring of 2011, federal spending cuts forced by Republican legislators took much-needed money out of the economy: combined with the 2012 budget, it has largely counteracted the positive benefits provided by the 2009 stimulus.

Subsequently, the GOP's refusal to countenance legislation that would help states with their own fiscal crises (largely, the result of declining tax revenue) has led to massive public sector layoffs at the state and local level. In fact, since Obama took office, state and local governments have shed 611,000 jobs; and by some measures, if not for these jobs, cuts the unemployment rate today would be closer to 7%, not its current 8.2%. In 2010 and 2011, 457,00 public sector jobs were excised; not coincidentally, at the same time, much of the federal stimulus aid from 2009 ran out. And Republicans took over control of Congress.

These cuts have a larger societal impact. When teachers are laid off, for example (and nearly 200,000 have lost their jobs), it means larger class sizes, other teachers being overworked and after-school classes being cancelled. So, ironically, a policy that is intended to save "our children and grandchildren" from "crushing debt" is leaving them worse-prepared for the actual economic and social challenges they will face in the future. In addition, with states operating under tighter fiscal budgets – and getting no hope relief from Washington – it means less money for essential government services, like help for the elderly, the poor and the disabled.

This is the most obvious example of how austerity policies are not only harming America's present, but also imperilling its future. And these spending cuts on the state and local level are matched by a complete lack of fiscal expansion on the federal level. In fact, fiscal policy is now a drag on the recovery, which is the exact opposite of how it should work, given a sluggish economy.

This collection of more-harm-than-good policies must also include last summer's debt limit debacle, which House speaker John Boehner has threatened to renew this year. This was yet another GOP initiative that undermined the economic recovery. According to economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, "over the entire episode, confidence declined more than it did following the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc in 2008." Only after the crisis did the consumer confidence stabilize, but employers "held back on hiring, sapping momentum from a recovery that remains far too fragile." In addition, the debt limit deal also forced more unhelpful spending cuts on the country.

Since that national embarrassment, Republicans have refused to even allow votes on President Obama's jobs bill in the Senate; they dragged their feet on the aforementioned payroll tax and even now are holding up a transportation bill with poison-pill demands for the White House on environmental regulation.

Yet, with all these tales of economic ineptitude emanating from the GOP, it is Obama who is bearing most of the blame for the country's continued poor economic performance.

Whether you believe the Republicans are engaging in purposely destructive fiscal behavior or are simply fiscally incompetent, it almost doesn't matter. It most certainly is bad economic policy and that should be part of any national debate not only on who is to blame for the current economic mess, but also what steps should be taken to get out from underneath it.

But don't hold your breath on that happening. Presidents get blamed for a bad economy; and certainly, Republicans are unlikely to take responsibility for the country's economic woes. The obligation will be on Obama to make the case that it is the Republicans, not he, who is to blame – a difficult, but not impossible task.

In the end, that might be the worst part of all – one of two major political parties in America is engaging in scorched-earth economic policies that are undercutting the economic recovery, possibly on purpose, and is forcing job-killing austerity measures on the states. And they have paid absolutely no political price for doing so. If anything, it won them control of the House in 2010, and has kept win Obama's approval ratings in the political danger zone. It might even help them get control of the White House.

Sabotage or not, it's hard to argue with "success" – and it's hard to imagine we've seen the last of it, whoever wins in November.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/09/did-republicans-deliberately-crash-us-economy

44 Comments

44 Comments


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[-] 4 points by gsw (2733) 2 years ago

Why are they being allowed to be re-elected.

There should be a law.

Oh yea. They are the aristocrats. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristocracy. Or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutocracy

http://occupywallst.org/forum/how-the-one-percent-seized-control/

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (22338) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

It's called - The Oath of Office.

I do not believe that it has ever been enforced - one of those feel good statements for the public I guess.

The Oath should be enforced.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1377) from Cornelius, OR 2 years ago

RepubliCons are owned and controlled by a maniacal few in the 1%, who also own MSM, Fox Lies and, the big kahuna, RW extremist Hate radio.

That's why you get Con zombies soooo brainwashed they believe Obama and the Dems are the "real" saboteurs and anti-democracy America haters instead of the Cons ~ opposite world.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (1377) from Cornelius, OR 2 years ago

Thanks, that looks interesting. I wonder at what point my bookmarks will crash my computer.

[-] 3 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Imagine if this conspiracy had been hatched by Dems. Ignore the total melt down and call for trials by the GOP. Think about how the Main Stream Media, that the GOP rails against unceasingly, would treat this. I would submit that failure of the media to ever judge misconduct but present it as just the actions of a group or individual with a different point of view. Right, wrong and every shade of gray is given equal status. You like slavery? Fine that is just another economic approach. It could work? "Lets ask the man on the street, Sir, how do you feel about a little slavery? Now lets ask a tourist, Ma'am, did you notice that the person who cleaned your room was a slave? Did she do a good job?"

And that is how casually they treat the most horrendous acts. "How did you feel about that, Sir? Sir? I guess he passed out. Now back to our studio."

"The Democrats have been charged with sinking the economy of the United States of America. This is viewed as far worse than Benedict Arnold's crime and that of the Rosenberg's. The House has passed a a bill reauthorizing torture as the penalty for economic treason on a party line vote. And now the weather."

[-] 0 points by WSmith (1377) from Cornelius, OR 2 years ago

It would be the Acorn-ing of the Dem party, but with facts. Maybe more like Watergate, but with lasting effects. Or a Con wet dream, but real.

[-] 0 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 2 years ago

Axelrod is off on this. As soon as Obama won the dem primary and he showed good poll numbers against McCain, bailout talk started. The republican president said sure, let's do bailouts. His party overall said not so fast. The democrats overall said sure and Obama said yes. No matter how you slice it both parties are guilty.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

the bailout was a repub written plan to send a trillion $ to their 1% plutocrat bankster constituents. It was Dems who resisted and defeated it in the house (remember the stock masrket crashwhen they did?)

[-] 1 points by LetsGetReal (1420) from Grants, NM 2 years ago

Nope. The Dems voted for it in greater numbers than the Reps did.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/110-2008/h681

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/110-2008/s213

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Yep Happened like I said.

The Vote you refer to came after the events I mentioned.

After Dems defeated it and sent the stock market into crash. And after they got some concessions (not enough). And bailouts for dem constituents.

[-] 1 points by LetsGetReal (1420) from Grants, NM 2 years ago

The original bill was defeated, but not because of the Dems. The Dems also supported the original bill in greater numbers than Reps.

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2008/roll674.xml

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

The Dems got concessions on transparency and control, (not enough) they cut the amount of the bail out, created mechanism to ensure we are paid back (most banks have w/ profit). And got money for dem constituents (manufacturing)

So the numbers of the votes does not change who wrote it! Who it was meant to help (repub 1% bankster constituents) and how those repub 1% plutocrat banksters mugged us.

We were forced to capitulate to the repub 1% banksters because of the threat against the economy they held hostage.

[-] 1 points by LetsGetReal (1420) from Grants, NM 2 years ago

The opposition to, and improvements on, the bill were promoted by Republicans and Democrats, and of course, Independent Bernie Sanders. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/03/business/03naysayers.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

I know you like to blame Republicans for all evil in the world and paint Democrats as their helpless victims who are 'forced' to vote for laws against their will, but the facts don't bear that out.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

The fact is the Bush admin submit a 2 page bail out bill. That gave no accountability to the banks and eliminated all liability for said banks. The fact is the Bush admin went to congress and spewed the bankster line that congress HAD to give the banks $1 Trillion dollars or all lending/credit would seize up.

Those are the facts. The votes that followed were simply the political dance. Dems made profound mistakes, but the bailout was repub created, forrepib constituents.

Period!

[-] 1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 2 years ago

Always with the half-truths VQ. Dems and Obama went along because Obama would have lost to McCain if they didn't.

[-] 1 points by gsw (2733) 2 years ago

I counted 72 senators voting for. Seems bipartisan with that count.

They had to vote for it to save their own fortunes too. If economy crashed, 1 percent would have been pissed and lost much more.

http://toddlorensinclair.wordpress.com/2008/10/01/senate-bailout-oct-1-2008-who-voted-yes-vote-them-out-here-is-the-list/

It was supposed to help homeowners, according to the bills wording.

[-] 1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 2 years ago

Bailouts were definitely a bipartisan scam.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Dems went along because repubs banksters threatened to (and did) stop all lending.

Remember that extortion?

We were mugged. Dems tried to stop it but could not so they tried to add accountability & some bailouts for dem interests (gm, chrysler).

Thats what I remember.

[-] 1 points by freakzilla (-161) from Detroit, MI 2 years ago

Did they go along with it or did they resist and defeat it?

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Dems resisted, defeated, got changes (not enough) and went along with it when repub 1% plutocrat banksters threatened to withhold lending & bring all business activity to a halt.

Got it?

[-] 3 points by freakzilla (-161) from Detroit, MI 2 years ago

Not really. Let's talk about it more in that other thread.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

What other thread?

[-] 2 points by freakzilla (-161) from Detroit, MI 2 years ago

The debate thread.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

no thanks.

[-] 0 points by KevinLark (-103) 2 years ago

Dems went along because both parties are fucking us idiot

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

ALL our problems come from conservative policies.

Some dems betray progressive principles when they support those conservative policies, but Dems can be dragged from the right and made to serve the 99%. Large scale progressive protests are what has been missing.

replace pro 1% conservatives w/ pro progressives & PROTEST for change that benefits the 99%

[-] -1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

You realize Jamie Dimon is a registered Democrat right?

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

So what? Sounds like a distraction to me!

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 2 years ago

The dem/rep shit is a distraction.

You have days now to decide between Stein and Johnson and Anderson.

Refocus.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

3rd party candidates are frozen out of any possibility of winning.

Vote how you like! I MUST keep the right wing wackos who have created all our problems with conservative trickle down, weak regulation, & fear mongering war on terror out of power.

And PROTEST all pols for change that benefits the 99%.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

the dems are stopping the repubs are stopping the dems

government as usual

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Stopping repubs is good.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

action is good not inaction

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Sure. PROGRESSIVE action is good! Stopping conservative action is required.!

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

The more and more people in this country start to wake up to the obvious truth, the more and more about 20% of the country digs their heels into the ground.

[-] -2 points by Futurevision1 (-75) 2 years ago

Pure propaganda. Goebbals would be proud of you.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (1377) from Cornelius, OR 2 years ago

Keep telling yourself that, if it keeps you calm. We don't need any of you nuts on another shooting spree!!

[-] -2 points by Futurevision1 (-75) 2 years ago

Keep watching the skies sparky. You and your Marxist scum are gonna lose.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (1377) from Cornelius, OR 2 years ago

OK, but keep the guns in the gun safe until sometime next year when you calm down.

And I'll just stare at my Marxist sky.

Hear that Both-Samers and Unicorn chasers? I'm a Marxist!!!

Vote the Cons out!!

[-] -3 points by wango (-6) 2 years ago

Oh yea...that's the republican motto (you know the rich guys, who own business).. Destroy the economy and lose millions.

What the fuck you smoking you fucking idiot. It's OBAMA"s policy that killed the economy

[-] 0 points by WSmith (1377) from Cornelius, OR 2 years ago
[+] -5 points by KevinLark (-103) 2 years ago

Democrats / libs Deliberately Crashed & Sobotaged the US Economy!

[-] 0 points by WSmith (1377) from Cornelius, OR 2 years ago

You do know this isn't a game? That it's about our country?

And even if it was a game, would you still root for cheaters?

Have you lost all sense of decency?