The beautiful aspect of a democracy is that two sides proffer solutions to a problem and then discuss the merits and liabilities of each leading to an eventual compromise and agreement that both sides agree will solve the problem. Since President Obama has been in office, Republicans have avoided any discourse with Democrats and insisted that if their solutions are not followed, there will be no compromise and no solution regardless the issue. It has not mattered what issue of national importance arose, Republicans opposed President Obama for the sake of obstruction and no other reason. When lawmakers return to Washington in September they will consider an appropriations bill to fund the government through the next fiscal year; the deadline to finish the bill is October 1st.
House majority leader Eric Cantor was part of the group who threatened a government default during the debt ceiling negotiations and it was his fellow Republicans who said a default on the nation’s debt would only do minimal damage. This week Cantor sent a letter to Republicans urging them to pass the full appropriations bill because although the spending cuts are not a severe as Republicans hoped for, he said his caucus should avoid another showdown that could lead to a government shutdown. That is the good news.
Cantor wrote that Republicans should focus on ending regulations and “stopping the discussions of new stimulus spending.” The majority leader told his caucus that it was important to engender certainty in the private sector instead of a fight over spending. It is not that Cantor wants to compromise or help Americans by creating jobs, but to assuage the damage contentious Republicans caused themselves with the threat of a shutdown and the resulting ire of the American people who are sick of Republicans doing nothing. Apparently, Republicans are aware that their approval ratings are in the cellar for taking the nation’s economy to the brink of default and the ever present threat of a government shutdown.
If Republicans follow Cantor’s directions, there is little room left for compromise, but more importantly, there is nothing to create jobs or benefit the American people. If Republicans are intent on stopping the discussions of new stimulus spending, then the chance for compromise is finished before it begins. In fact, if Republicans entire focus is on stopping discussion, they are just picking up where they left off before the break. It is just more obstructions that will kill jobs and prevent economic recovery from moving forward. The Republicans should just stay home if their only goal is to stop discussions before they get off the ground.
Cantor is not the smartest man in Washington, but he is a fool for refusing to discuss the only sure way to get people working again and growing the economy. Every economist who does not work for the Heritage Foundation has said that the last economic stimulus was too small and to get Americans working, the government has to spend more. It is noteworthy that the last stimulus helped create 1.1 million jobs, and at Republicans’ town hall meetings ordinary citizens have told their representatives that the stimulus should have been larger to put more money into the hands of Americans. Cantor said the president harmed the economy with his policies. If passing a stimulus that created a million plus jobs in 2010 was harming the economy, then what have Republicans done by killing 2 million jobs with their Draconian spending cuts? Cantor also made an incredible leap when he invoked President Franklin Delano Roosevelt whom he said had lengthened and deepened the Great Depression with some of his decisions.
One can only assume Cantor meant FDR’s policies that put most Americans to work rebuilding America were harmful to the economy. Although his assertion is nothing less than outrageous, it is apparent that a fool like Cantor thinks creating jobs and rebuilding the economy is abhorrent and policies that helped Americans is bad. Republicans have made every attempt to sabotage job creation and economic recovery and if they head into September intent on stopping discussions before they can start, they will at least be consistent. Cantor’s other focus is also consistent with Republican policies; ending regulations.
One has to consider who benefits from ending regulations that protect workers, protects the environment, and kills jobs. The Republicans’ goal of protecting corporations’ bottom line has been going on for decades regardless that it harms the American people and the economy. It is getting old mentioning that President Clinton increased regulations, and his tenure as president stands out as the era of greatest economic prosperity in recent memory. The Clinton economy came to a grinding halt when George W. Bush took office and Republicans deregulated the financial industry that caused an economic downturn we are still feeling. The mortgage crisis occurred because there was no oversight, and such man-made disasters as the Gulf oil spill were direct results of deregulation. Republicans show their level of stupidity when time and time again they return to the same failed policies that have caused nothing but damage and despair to millions of Americans.
Cantor may be concerned that voters are upset with Republicans for nearly sending the country to its first default on its debt, but going into negotiations with the intention of stopping discussions before they even start does not bode well for the GOP or the American people. It would be beneficial to both parties for Congress to pass an extra-large stimulus because it would show compromise, create jobs, and help the economy. It would also help businesses that are struggling to stay afloat by putting money in American’s hands who would begin purchasing goods and services that would fuel more economic recovery and eventually increase revenue for the government. However, a large stimulus bill would help the American people and the last thing Republicans want is to create jobs and help the American people even if it means it would also help them.
Republicans know Americans are disgusted, and yet in their push to prohibit economic recovery and kill jobs they are taking a chance the American people want to portray President Obama’s Administration as ineffective as much as Republicans are. Cantor’s focus will do absolutely nothing to help people get back to work and begin rebuilding their lives, but if Republicans end regulations, they will have pleased their corporate masters. Republican obstruction is becoming standard operating procedure and it appears Cantor’s caucus will heed his direction and stop discussion on stimulus spending before it begins, and they will try to end regulations that protect Americans. However, Cantor’s revisionist history that FDR prolonged and deepened the Great Depression is nothing short of ridiculous.
Cantor should have just said what Republicans think about Roosevelt and his accomplishments; they hate Social Security, that he saved capitalism, put millions of Americans to work rebuilding the country, and saved the economy like President Obama is attempting today. Republicans are still attempting to undo Roosevelt’s accomplishments and if it means stopping discussions that could save America and its economy today then they will do so at their own peril because Americans want jobs, a secure retirement, a safe work environment, and a decent infrastructure. If they are denied those basic rights, they have Republicans to blame, and the American people will blame Republicans; now and next November.