Most Americans are not economic experts, but on some level nearly every adult in this country understands that at some point cutting spending, the deficit, and taxes is never going to create jobs or boost the economy. Republicans though, have maintained that government spending, the nation’s deficit, and high tax rates for the wealthy are responsible for job losses and the sluggish economy. However, their contentions are fallacious even though they have convinced their base and ignorant racists that President Obama’s jobs bill is “bloated government spending” that, like the first stimulus, will not create one job and unfairly target the wealthy “job creators” who require more tax cuts to begin hiring. This past week, Senate Republicans filibustered one part of the president’s jobs bill that would aid states to avoid laying off teachers, fire fighters, and police officers because it included a tax increase on the so-called job creators; they did not allow it to come up for a vote.
The $35 billion bill should not have been controversial because it either saved or created jobs in every state, but since Republicans are focused on keeping Americans unemployed at all costs, every Republican Senator voted against the measure. They were joined by two Democrats and one Independent who also wanted to maintain or grow the unemployment numbers in their own states as well as the entire country. Republicans cannot say the $35 billion plan was unfunded or would add to the national debt because Democrats, with the President’s blessings, added a tax on the wealthiest Americans to pay for the bill. Since Republicans are committed to keeping Americans unemployed and destitute, the notion of a tax increase on the wealthy provided the perfect excuse to oppose the bill.
Republicans were repulsed that Democrats dared to include a tax increase on the wealthy to pay for creating jobs in all 50 states. If the measure had passed, millionaires and billionaires would have seen a debilitating 0.5% increase in their taxes. The bill would have provided money directly to states to prevent further layoffs of teachers, police officers, and firefighters at the local level. Similar measures have received bipartisan support in the past, but Republicans are not going to allow any legislation to help the economy or create jobs pass before the next election. In blocking the bill, Republicans not only killed a simple part of President Obama’s jobs plan, they are also keeping much-needed cash from being injected into the economy. It is just another example of Republican attempts to sink the economy.
The jobs saved would have allowed teachers, firefighters, and police officers to continue making mortgage payments, feed their families, and spend cash in their localities that in turn would stimulate local businesses and create more jobs. The simple economic facts are that 70% of the economy is consumer spending that is flat or dropping because consumers are losing their jobs, and without their spending, businesses cannot hire because they lack customers to buy their goods and services. It is a vicious cycle that Republicans are aware of and the tax increase on billionaires and millionaires is just a fact the GOP is using to incite opposition from their base. Apparently, 0.5% tax increase on the wealthiest Americans is too much for Republicans to stomach regardless that their constituents would benefit from the plan.
Republicans have claimed that restrictive taxes are the reason job creators (read, corporations) are not making money and therefore are not hiring any new employees. That claim, like everything Republicans say, is an abject lie. Corporations are sitting on $2 trillion in cash that is mostly from foreign sources and they are still not hiring because there are very few Americans with money to buy their products. Republicans are not helping corporations by keeping Americans unemployed, but with $2 trillion in cash reserves, corporations can remain solvent until Republicans finally eliminate all corporate taxes whether from foreign sources or not. However, Republicans are on a path of no return because their spending cuts and economic malfeasance will doom the economy indefinitely according to Robert Reich.
Reich, a respected economist and former Clinton Labor Secretary says the fiscal tightening Republicans are hell-bent on pursuing will cause a fiscal contraction because the ratio of debt to the size of the overall economy will continue to increase, and as the ratio increases, it causes the economy to shrink. Reich calls it “the austerity death trap” and it has already consumed Greece with Spain and Italy perilously close to falling into the trap. Reich, like every economist who does not work for the Heritage Foundation, says the first step to keep America out of the trap is to revive growth and jobs. “That way, revenues increase and the debt/GDP ratio drops. Only then, when the economy is back on track do you start cutting.” However, Republicans have proven time and time again that regardless what financial experts and economists say, they are going to do the exact opposite.
The entire economic disaster is the fault of Republicans and no one else. The trickle-down lie that began during Reagan’s failed presidency was continued with vigor by George W. Bush, and the current batch of Republican criminals have done their best to perpetuate the catastrophe from the minute President Obama took office. Economic malfeasance notwithstanding, it is the Republican’s goal of sending more Americans into abject poverty that should convict them to prison. Never before in American history has a band of political villains deliberately worked to condemn the population to live in poverty than Republicans like Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and the rest of the traitors in the GOP. It is especially telling that despite the advice and recommendations of economists and financial experts, the Republicans still think their trickle-down myth supersedes economic good sense that any American simpleton would follow to assure their own survival.
America will not survive this current batch of Republican malcontents, and as the economic picture worsens, the poverty rate increases, and tens-of-millions more Americans lose their jobs, homes, and reason to live, Republicans can relish the thought that they alone destroyed jobs, the economy, and millions of innocent lives so their precious “job creators” could continue paying less in taxes than the poor peasants they condemned to homelessness and despair. The ire-inspiring aspect is that these ghastly Republicans feel no shame for destroying jobs and a once-vibrant economy for sport and to protect the wealthy. Republicans should know in advance that when the peasants do finally rise up and go French Revolution on them and their wealthy masters, their executioners will also feel no shame.