According to the polls anyway America has or is about to be tricked by one the sloppiest, dumbest and self defeating political tricks of all time. The economy sucks. What is responsible? The the Recovery Act ( known as the stimulus) and ObamaCare (The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). I could and have, as have thousands of others cited the numbers and it does not seem to matter. That is something of a tradition with Republicans, It was their polices and lack of regulatory enforcement that crashed the economy. Rad back on political history to the Reagan years and there are some things about which we can all rely. The boneheaded refusal of conservatives to be accountable or admit the basic foundations of their crony corrupt brand of capitalism will always lead to the same disastrous results. In the 50s we had the Reagan and Bush 41 recession. The Big Dog cleaned up much of that mess and left Bush 43 with a surplus. Trashing the economy doesn’t matter to Republicans. As a matter of fact history teaches us the more they trash the economy the closer they get to drowning the social safety net, financial regulation and environmental laws. The Recovery Act and PPACA are an assault on their legacy of sinking the ship of common good. The Recovery Act was only required because like thieves with a credit card they went out on a wild and unpaid for shopping spree. They left the bill plus interests for others to pay for. Mom and pop paid for it by losing their jobs or house or both. Democrats paid for it in political perceptions. The largely astroturf tea baggers suddenly emerged from the sound and reality proof booth in which they lived for eight years and demanded all the problems they and their leaders created be fixed and right now dammit. Probably too late for this election cycle but Democrats are in fact making headway on paying off those wildly irresponsible credit card charges left by the unaccountable thieves conservatives. While there are some murky future events that may affect the final tally Democrats are paying off Bush’s TARP – Wall Street Bailout Returns 8.2% Profit Beating Treasury Bonds
The U.S. government’s bailout of financial firms through the Troubled Asset Relief Program provided taxpayers with higher returns than yields paid on 30- year Treasury bonds — enough money to fund the Securities and Exchange Commission for the next two decades.
The government has earned $25.2 billion on its investment of $309 billion in banks and insurance companies, an 8.2 percent return over two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That beat U.S. Treasuries, high-yield savings accounts, money- market funds and certificates of deposit.
In between recovering those TARP funds or at least being on the road to recovering them Democrats gave America one of the biggest tax cuts for the middle-class in generations – From Obama, the Tax Cut Nobody Heard Of. Got to love one Republicans deeply cynical response – he did not notice because his state taxes went up. Since he didn’t know he got a federal income tax cut is there any reason to believe he is any more up to date on his actual state taxes. One gets the feeling these Fox watching, right-wing radio listening, Rush Limbaugh lap dogs have never fact checked a single thing conservative gutter snipes have ever told him. Another big disappointment to the media selling the Republican resurgence narrative and the credit abusing tea bagger deficit peacocks – Pop The Cork? The Biggest Deficit Reduction In U.S. History Occurred From 2009 to 2010
In previous years we would have been breaking out the champagne on this news: The monthly budget review released yesterday by the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the federal budget deficit fell by $125 billion from 2009 to 2010. This by far is the biggest one-year nominal drop in the deficit that has ever occurred.
There were two primary reasons there was no cheering yesterday.
First, it’s not at all clear that reducing the deficit was the correct fiscal policy given the slow growth in the U.S. economy.
Darth Cheney once famously said the deficits don’t matter. Under hsi breath he likely continued – except when there is a Democrat in the Whitehouse. That is a fact of life in the U.S. Republicans can steal and cheat the country out of more money than an army of bank robbers and the most we’ll here from conservatives is some hand wringing about the future. A Democrat inherits those debts plus interests and it’s the end of the world as we know it. Republicans have hit upon the secret no one knows. The country in not really in the dumper because of the Bush era toga party it is in dire straights because of ObamaCare. There is a little problem with that scenario. Without ObamaCare – which parts of kick in every year until 2015 – will actually reduce the long term deficit –
$1.2 trillion of $1.4 trillion deficit was already projected before Bush left office. The CBO projected on January 7, 2009, that, including spending authorized under the Bush administration for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and government takeovers of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the deficit that year would total $1.2 trillion. According to the CBO, the actual FY 2009 deficit was $1.4 trillion.
[ ]…CBO has consistently said that health care reform law will reduce deficit by $143 billion over next ten years, and by more in second decade. The CBO determined in March that the two health care bills signed into law that month “would produce a net reduction in federal deficits of $143 billion over the 2010-2019 period.” The CBO estimated a further reduction in the second decade after enactment “with a total effect during that decade in a broad range around one-half percent of GDP.”
Because unemployment remains so high all these achievements become just so much background noise. There is no Democratic Fox news to explain how saving the financial sector, recouping TARP, paying down the deficit and health care reform is setting up the economy for a full recovery down the road. At which time you can fully expect for conservatives to take credit for Democratic achievements.
Wisconsin senatorial candidate Ron Johnson is a perfect example of the current political atmosphere. He has no answers. Any wonks sitting down with this guy to have a solid discussion of public policy as it relates to taxes, economic growth, job creation, education, national security or the environment and green technology would soon be heading to the door over come with toxic fumes of pure mediocrity – Wisconsin Republican Senate hopeful Ron Johnson Freezes When Asked For His Plan To Help Middle Class
Wisconsin Republican Senate hopeful Ron Johnson had a deer-in-headlights moment in a recent interview with the Green Bay Press Gazette.
Asked to explain his jobs plan, Johnson banged away at the GOP mantra: cutting spending, regulation, etc. That didn’t satisfy the editors.
“There’s no real jobs plan?” one interviewer asked.
“I would say bring fiscal discipline to the federal government,” Johnson replied. “We’ve got to curb spending.”
That didn’t satisfy his interviewers.
“So your jobs plan is to control spending. But what about the middle class?” the editor responded. “I mean, I hear you talking a lot about business, businesses. But I mean, what is your plan for the middle class?”
“We have to get the economy moving,” Johnson said, frozen.
“Isn’t that pretty simple though what you’re saying is just, you know, elect me, to go there and cut spending and everything will take care of itself.”
[ ]…the Press-Gazette endorses Feingold, citing Johnson’s “inability” to articulate plan to help the middle class
This election cycle is not much different then most, but it seems to have an edge in the number of conservatives who don’t even pretend to have answers. Congress is not or should not be a kindergarten training center for look at me I wannabe an important Republican and policy maker. You can’t make good policy without substance.