If you have to sabotage the economy to win, your ideas suck
Of all the terrible lessons the Republicans have learned since 2009, the worst is: Economic sabotage works.
In 2009, the President’s immediate efforts to stimulate the economy and rescue the auto industry took us from losing 800,000 jobs a month to creating thousands. But, before the policies were even in place, the GOP called it a failure.
KNOW THIS: The Stimulus was the most successful economic effort since World War II. Yet the GOP was able to make it a bad word by employing Karl Rove tactics with Koch brothers money–carefully crafted talking points repeated endlessly.
The way the Stimulus reversed the layoff crisis was obvious. But it couldn’t move fast enough to undo eight years of Bush/Cheney so the public bought into this baldfaced lie and gave the GOP the House of Representatives in 2010. Sabotage worked.
Then, last summer, the House GOP did something unprecedented in American history. During a jobs crisis they helped create and did nothing to end, the GOP decided that they would not approve an increase in the debt limit without trillions in deficit cuts. They added to the insanity by saying that they would not approve one dollar in tax increases, even on the richest Americans.
The GOP eventually backed away actual default with a complex debt deal that they now refuse to honor.
WHAT? They held the economy hostage for a deal they won’t keep? Why aren’t people in the streets?
The point was never the deal. Hurting the economy was. And the GOP has enough message discipline and sympathetic media to help them avoid the blame. They managed to act serious about the economy even as our credit rating was lowered entirely because they had created a question in the world’s mind about our willingness to pay debts.
As we moved on from this faked crisis, America began creating jobs. Layoffs hit four-year lows. The recovery was so evident, even Mitt Romney had to admit that it was happening. Suddenly, the idea of defeating President Obama seemed like a pipe dream until… May.
Jobs growth, while impressive, slowed a bit. Then an election in Greece sparked a financial crisis in Europe facing a Euro that could collapse.
Markets faltered and our recovery, which so promising weeks before, seemed lost.
Bad news for your economy is apparently good news for the GOP. How did they seek to calm the markets and offer the “certainty” they claim to worship?
Speaker Boehner decided that on May 15 he had to go public and promise another manufactured debt ceiling crisis. BAM.
That right there put Americans out of work. Maybe it cost people their actual jobs, or it just slowed a company from hiring. But homes will be lost, debt accrued, well-being shaken. The Speaker—to force another debt deal he likely can’t stick to—has increased the chances that thousands of Americans could be shaken out of work, into the streets, facing hunger, heartbreak and misery.
Remember this: We have a deficit that is almost entirely made up of policies the GOP passed and would hold the economy hostage again to keep. Simply: GOP policies—the Bush tax cuts, the wars, Medicare D—created the deficit. But the only things the GOP will cut are the social safety net that they’ve always opposed. And they won’t compromise, ever.
A small group of conservative extremists are using their representatives in Congress to threaten your livelihood. Unless America says, “The GOP’s irresponsible economic sabotage must stop,” the next job that it costs us may be yours.
[Chart via @JustinWolfers]