When politicians predict and promise their agenda will produce a particular outcome without a basis in fact or historical data to back up their claim, voters have little choice but to take their word on faith as a visionary, or assume they are lying to win an election. No human being has the power of prophecy to describe precisely conditioned future events, but Republicans promise that without doubt, their economic agenda is a path to prosperity for all Americans the country can ill-afford to pass up. The definition of prosperity is “the condition of being successful or thriving,” and especially “denotes economic well-being, opulence, and wealth” that should portend the Republican promise is either a gross exaggeration or a blatant lie to entice voters to support their agenda.
Since President Obama has been in office, Republicans have promoted austerity measures to rein in the nation’s deficit at the same time they champion entitlement spending to enrich the wealthy, and some Americans believe cutting the size of government is key to economic growth, creating jobs, and reducing the nation’s deficit. The Republican presumptive presidential candidate, Willard Romney, and Representative Paul Ryan have predicted that their agenda of drastically cutting government and giving more tax breaks to the wealthy will foster an unprecedented period of economic growth and full employment, and it is a shame there is no way to know for sure if their prophecy will come to pass . However, there is at least one example of a wealthy nation that enacted severe austerity measures after the great world recession, and instead of economic growth, full employment, and a population of millionaires, there is double-dip inflation, economic retardation, and a recession matching 2008’s economic disaster.
In England, the austerity measures enacted by conservative Prime Minister David Cameron should serve as a cautionary tale of the dangers of drastic cuts to the public sector at a time when private sector job growth is lagging. The English model that produced double-dip inflation and zero-to-no economic growth is a prime example of the real-world consequences severe austerity measures produce as opposed to stimulating the economy. The English problem settles the argument for harsh austerity measures because where Cameron practiced austerity, President Obama did not and as a result, England is back in recession and America is experiencing economic growth. England’s economic woes are a living, breathing example of the disastrous effects of implementing radical austerity during an economic downturn that was predicted by nearly every financial expert on the face of the planet, and instead of learning from England’s mistake, Willard Romney promises to repeat them in America.
Toward the end of 2010, Cameron passed harsh cutbacks in public spending that averaged 20% across most government institutions. If the 20% figure sounds familiar, it is Willard Romney’s plan except that Romney intends increasing spending on tax cuts for the extremely wealthy that will create greater shortfalls than during Bush Republican’s economic malfeasance and will increase the nation’s deficit by at least $3.1 trillion. The English results were predictable, and indeed, most renowned economists predicted that if austerity measures were enacted in America, there would be zero growth and double-dip recession would ensue. The world’s leading economists were not prophets, but they followed sound economic reasoning that President Obama implemented and where America’s gross domestic product grew at 2.2% during the first quarter of 2012, England’s GDP is flat with no signs of improving anytime soon. The preponderance of evidence should enlighten Americans that instead of massive cuts to public spending, what America needs is greater stimulus spending to create jobs, continue economic growth, and encourage consumer spending that increased by 2.9% in the first quarter of 2012 over 2.2% in the fourth quarter 2011.
Romney and his Republican cohorts are aware of the economic disaster of austerity measures on the economy, but despite knowledge that their proposals are anathema to growth and job creation, they are proceeding as if their plans are a path to prosperity. President Obama’s stimulus saved the automobile industry, and yesterday Chrysler posted its best quarterly profit in 13 years with revenue rising 25%. In nearly every state in the Union, teachers, fire fighters, police officers, and construction workers kept their jobs because the stimulus shored up cash-strapped states and prevented massive layoffs which in turn supported local businesses as well as increased much-needed tax revenues. The lessons of the economic stimulus should be proof to Republicans that stimulus spending spurred economic recovery and needs to be extended until there are at least five to six consecutive quarters of sustained growth, but they choose to follow England’s austerity measures that they know retards growth, but their focus is on enriching the wealthy and sending more Americans into poverty instead of reducing the deficit, creating jobs, and growing the economy.
Romney, more than anyone, knows the extent of damage severe austerity measures cause because it was his modus operandi during his tenure at Bain Capital. The disastrous policies bankrupted 25% of the companies Bain managed, and eliminated hundreds-of-thousands of American jobs when companies were downsized, bankrupted or outsourced to China. All the while, Romney made a fortune and it informs his real intentions in seeking the presidency. By cutting or eliminating government agencies and social safety nets, Wall Street and corporations can assume control of education, prisons, Medicare, pension programs and nearly every government agency and reward their wealthy investors while Americans slide deeper into poverty.
The lessons from England should cause Americans to shudder at the prospect of a Romney presidency or any of Republican attempts to impose austerity measures while the country is recovering from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The news from across the Atlantic is not a secret, and yet Republicans are hell-bent on following the English model in spite of the economic consequences. Romney’s prediction that his economic austerity plans will help the economy is as fallacious as his recurring assertion that President Obama made the economy worse, but his penchant for lying for profit overrides any sense of decency or concern for the American people. Any intelligent human being would see the disastrous effects of austerity measures during an economic downturn and avoid them like plague, but Romney’s greed and mendacity override his alleged economic and business acumen and the results would decimate the economy as well as 98% of the American people.
It is telling that with a living example of the effects of Romney and Republicans’ economic agenda proving to be a disaster within one year of their implementation in a wealthy nation, they are undaunted in attempting to repeat the disaster in America. It demonstrates their disregard for the American people and the economic health of this country, and is why they are inherently evil; especially Romney. He claims to be a businessman extraordinaire, but no respectable businessman would deliberately repeat a practice they know will fail. But that is Romney’s problem; he is not respectable. His intentions to pursue economic policies that are proven failures for personal profit reveal a despicable human being who loves his money, but not his country. Because anyone who purposely promotes an agenda they know will damage their country and its population, is evil and a traitor.