When Americans vote for their representatives in Congress, they assume each member will work to make America stronger and look out for their constituents’ needs and interests. Now that the debt ceiling deal is finished, there should not be any doubt that Republicans are not concerned about a strong country or the people’s interests. The teabaggers and Republicans held the country hostage in order to get spending cuts they wanted, so it is a good time to assess the value of a Republican controlled House and just how far Republicans have went to show their concern for Americans. During the campaigning for the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans promised voters they would repeal the Affordable Health Act and create jobs even though repeated requests for how they would create jobs fell on deaf ears.
Since the 112th Congress has been in session, the Republicans voted to repeal the health law like they promised, and if they were not liars, they should have immediately began work on job creation. Instead, they followed the burgeoning theocracy’s mandate and immediately launched a concerted attack on women’s reproductive rights that has not let up. The Republicans also worked tirelessly to defund Planned Parenthood as part of the religious war on contraception and cancer screening even though defunding Planned Parenthood will never create one job. It is also true that if the GOP had repealed the health law and President Obama signed the repeal into law, there would not be one job created.
Now that Republicans have cut spending on crucial programs for the poor and elderly, gutted regulatory agencies, and attempted to pass a Medicare privatization scam at the behest of the Heritage Foundation, it should be easy to measure the millions of jobs they have created. After all, the refrain during the 2010 campaigns was jobs, jobs, jobs so it makes sense that to Republicans, cutting spending and important social programs should translate into creating jobs. It is unclear how cutting spending and services translates into job creation, but after a month or so the Republicans should have figured out that spending cuts hamper job creation; but they did not. In fact, it is looking more and more like Republicans never intended to create jobs and instead, have killed millions of American jobs with their spending cuts.
Earlier in the year when House Speaker John Boehner was told that the spending cuts Republicans proposed would cost one million jobs, he said, “So be it.” Apparently Mr. Boehner thought it was more important to cut essential aid programs than create jobs, and it was flippant of him to say in effect, so what. Republicans have no intention of ever creating any jobs even though they lied in 2010 and promised it would be their highest priority. Jobs are still on Boehner’s mind though because when President Obama proposed a balanced approach to addressing the nation’s deficit, Boehner accused the president of attempting to “raise taxes on the job creators.” For most Republicans, the only time jobs are important is when they can make a reference to tax increases on the filthy rich and corporations.
Last year when Democrats attempted to pass a jobs bill, Republicans in the Senate blocked the measure for no other reason than it was not their bill. The bill gave tax breaks and incentives to small businesses for new job hires, but Republicans were anxious to deny Democrats any more legislative accomplishments before the midterm elections. When President Obama and Democrats attempted to eliminate tax breaks for companies that move Americans’ jobs to Korea, India, and China, Republicans blocked the bill because it did not reward corporate outsourcing. Prior to a vote on the outsourcing bill, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce president made the rounds on news programs to tout the benefits of shipping Americans’ jobs overseas to corporations. Republicans said that removing tax breaks from companies that outsource jobs would stifle job creation. Yes, they said it and it is proof there is no sense of shame with these job-killing Republicans; why any American voted for them in 2010 is a mystery unless one figures in the racial element. It is becoming more evident every day that Republicans cannot stand the fact that there is a Black man sitting in the Oval Office and if hurting the President means eliminating more Americans’ jobs, then as John Boehner says, so be it.
Now that Republicans control the House, they have disregarded their campaign promise to create jobs and instead have become the job-killing party. The budget cuts Republicans won in the debt ceiling compromise will cut more jobs. In fact, Paul Krugman said that, “These spending cuts are going to worsen unemployment… If you have a situation in which you are permanently going to raise the unemployment rate — which is what this is going to do — that’s actually going to reduce future revenues.” There have been assumptions that Republicans want a dismal jobs picture to portray Democrats and President Obama as ineffective, but after the recent debt ceiling debate, their plan may have backfired.
The hostage-taking strategy over raising the debt limit has generated ill-will between voters and Republicans who appeared confrontational and unwilling to compromise with Democrats on anything. The cuts in the current deal will not help create any jobs and instead will cause more job losses now and in the future. It appears to be the outcome Republicans sought all along because every economist has said that in a sluggish economy the last thing leaders should do is cut spending. However, Republicans have never accepted the advice of economic experts on any matter whatsoever. Remember that earlier this year when the Congressional Budget Office warned Republicans that their spending cuts would hurt the economy, Boehner said they were entitled to their opinion and that if jobs were lost, then so be it.
The American people will remember who made efforts at creating jobs and who made the effort to kill jobs. The Republican’s argument that raising taxes on the wealthiest 2% of Americans and corporations kills jobs lacks substance, but then again, everything the Republicans do lack substance when it comes to creating jobs. They are stuck in the Reagan era with the trickle-down theory they know never created jobs but it plays well to their corporate donors and that is all Republicans care about.
When the next election roles around and Americans think back to the start of the 112th Congress, they will remember the campaign promises of teabags and Republicans and wonder; what happened and where are the jobs you promised us? Republicans will point fingers at President Obama but the American people will remember who made every attempt at helping the economy, and which bunch of malcontents held the economy hostage and nearly caused a major depression. It is unfortunate, but millions of Americans will have plenty of time to reflect on who eliminated their jobs and sent them overseas while they are in the bread lines waiting for sustenance for a day. Hopefully they will not starve to death before then because it will be sweet revenge for hungry, jobless Americans to send recalcitrant Republicans and teabaggers packing for breaking their campaign promises; and nearly breaking the country.