In the lead up to the midterm elections of 2010, Republicans repeatedly said if elected, they would fix the economy and get America back to work. Throughout the campaign and after the elections were over, Republicans didn’t reveal how they would fix the economy or create jobs, but the voters gave them the benefit of the doubt and waited to see their strategy and how fast they implemented the plan. It has been three months since Republicans took control of the House and it is becoming painfully clear that they either don’t know how to fix the economy and create jobs, or don’t want to. Either outcome is detrimental to the country.
Republicans in the House have spent their time passing legislation they knew would never reach fruition, but they gave the illusion that they were working to defeat President Obama’s agenda for their conservative and teabag supporters. Their time-wasting exercise of voting to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act excited their people but accomplished little else. They were not serious about repealing the health law any more than they were serious about creating jobs, but they did manage to get through a month without doing a thing. John Boehner made the rounds on talk shows bragging that the Republicans were serious about doing the will of the American people, even though the American people elected them to work with Democrats to fix the economy. It was a waste of time to vote to repeal the health law, because even if President Obama and Senate Democrats agreed to repeal the health law, it would not have created any jobs or helped the economy. It’s obvious that Republicans are not serious about the work they were elected to do, and people should be irate.
House Republicans finally got around to addressing spending cuts, but the cuts were aimed at poor Americans and women instead of defense spending or the wealthy’s tax cuts. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that Republicans’ cuts would eliminate approximately 700,000 jobs directly and another 300,000 indirectly to which Speaker of the House John Boehner notoriously replied, “So be it.” If the Republicans were serious about cutting spending, they would eliminate tax breaks and loopholes that allow corporations like GE, Citi Bank, and others to pay no taxes despite making obscene profits. Republicans had an opportunity to rein in oil subsidies as well as force the oil industry to pay royalties on the oil they take, but in a nod to their contributors, they refused to hold them accountable or pay their share.
If Republicans were serious about helping the economy and creating jobs, they would heed the advice of every economist that doesn’t work at the Heritage Foundation and raise taxes on the wealthy, cut defense spending, and increase government’s investment in infrastructure as well as research and development. Conservatives consistently promote the philosophy that free market capitalism and a healthy business model are keys to economic growth and jobs, but there is no possibility that spending cuts alone will create jobs or help the economy. Any business owner will admit that if a business cannot meet its expenses, they have to cut spending and increase revenue. Republicans enjoy spending cuts for the poor, but they take the savings and hand it over to the wealthy and corporations creating more deficits. Every time Republicans cut taxes for corporations and the wealthy, they add to the nation’s deficits, and to cover the deficits, they cut spending that creates job losses that lose precious tax revenue. Maybe Republicans’ business philosophy only works for corporations and cannot be applied to government economics, but that seems unlikely.
Republicans claim that giving more money to corporations will encourage research and development as well as job creation, but it has never happened because corporations hoard the money. If the Republicans really believe in that philosophy, then it will also work for the government. However, increasing government revenue to spur infrastructure improvements and job creation is not within the grasp of Republicans’ mentality. Republicans’ solution to every economic problem is spending cuts for the poor and increased revenue for corporations (tax breaks) and it is bad economic policy. It is the failed policy of Ronald Reagan, and it’s possible that many teabags and Republicans in Congress don’t remember the Reagan years, but they can read the history for themselves if they were serious about not repeating Reagan’s economic mistakes.
It is difficult to imagine that after 30 years, Republicans still labor under the false assumption and illusion that cutting taxes for the wealthy and corporations will create jobs or help the economy. It didn’t work for Ronald Reagan and it didn’t work for George W. Bush, and if America lives on into perpetuity, it will not work then. It makes no sense for Republicans to return to failed conservative economic policies unless they have a motive only they know about.
Either the GOP is intentionally sabotaging the economy and job creation, or they are oblivious on how to proceed. If they are deliberately impairing economic growth, the American people are beginning to catch on and they are not happy. If Republicans are clueless about the right course to spur economic growth, they lied to the voters in the 2010 midterm elections and voters will not forget or forgive them. As insidious as either of those scenarios is, there is another explanation for the lack of action on jobs or the economy, and it is as likely possible as not. The Republicans are serious about oligarchy and are intentionally transferring Americans’ wealth and the government to an elite group of industrialists.
In states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Florida, the Republican governors are transferring the people’s wealth to corporations and increasing taxes on the poor and the elderly to pay for more corporate tax cuts. In Congress, Republicans cut programs for the poor, women, and children to pay for oil subsidies and corporate entitlements. Republicans are not serious about the economy or jobs, but they are serious about enriching corporations and transferring power to the wealthy. However, Americans are beginning to look suspiciously at Republican malfeasance and based on the recalls in Wisconsin and protests in cities around the country, the American people are getting angry.
Republicans have exposed themselves as charlatans who have no intention of fixing the economy or creating jobs and the voters are not pleased. As rewarding as it will be to see Republicans get their due for their criminal behavior, it is incredibly sad that for a year and nine months America will be divided up and given to a few wealthy corporate families. Republicans have never been serious about fixing the economy or creating jobs, and it is too bad that more Americans didn’t see it coming because there will be nothing left when they’re done.