In an epic moment of television, Rachel Maddow explained to America why Republicans are wrong to be focusing on the deficit when economic growth is the real problem.
Here is the video from MSNBC:
The deficit is not the biggest problem in the country. The deficit is shrinking already by hundreds of millions of dollars every year the president has been president. I mean, to the extent we need to count on debt, we need to use debt to accomplish other goals, you may not like the idea in the abstract, but, honestly, debt is cheaper now than it has been in a long time. Focusing on the debt and deficit to the exclusion of everything else is like arguing
about the color you might paint your car while you`re crashing that car into a tree.
In Washington, the Republicans are arguing about not a pretend problem but something honestly that is a secondary or tertiary problem — a problem that has no pressing real world need to be the one problem we wreck everything else to solve. If you look at the real economy in the real world right now, outside of Sunday morning, what everybody else in the country can tell, is what the economy needs right now is stimulus. You don`t need to take money out of the economy right now. You don`t need to further contract the economy. You need to stimulate the economy. The economists who track this stuff already think we`re not growing enough to get back to a healthy economy.
On Friday morning, economists cut their estimate to for how much we are growing right now. And then they cut it again on Friday afternoon, because people are not making enough money and therefore, not spending enough money and businesses are not hiring enough people. We need to be talking about growth in this country.
The problem we`ve got in this country is an economic growth problem. The problem is not the deficit. The deficit — sure, nobody wants there to be a deficit, but that`s not exactly the pressing need we`ve got as a
nation. Growing the economy, frankly, is also the only way we have gotten rid of red ink in the past, right? When Americans are better off, they pay more in taxes. With more tax revenue, the government can pay for the usual things.
Plus, we can pay down the debt.
Maddow attacked the very premise that got the nation into the “fiscal cliff” discussion in the first place– the Republican idea that deficits are more important than economic growth. President Obama appears to have one clear goal in mind when it comes to the fiscal cliff. While Republicans are trying to subtract money from the economy, President Obama’s first fiscal cliff proposal was actually economic stimulus. Obama isn’t calling for infrastructure spending as a way to cut the deficit. The president understands that within the framework of deficit talks, he has the opportunity to provide this country with more stimulus.
In the end, the dispute between the White House and congressional Republicans is about whether or not we add or subtract money from the economy.
As Maddow pointed out, today’s Republicans aren’t making the connection between deficit reduction and economic growth. The GOP has the equation backwards. They think that an austerity path can grow the economy, when all historical evidence suggests that the exact opposite is true.
Rachel Maddow attacked the philosophical and ideological conservative underpinnings that got the country into this mess. By pointing out, that the deficit conversation is a distraction from the nation’s real problem (economic growth), she pretty much ate the Republicans lunch.
The bad news for the GOP is that President Obama agrees with her, and a look beneath the surface reveals a president who has one eye on stimulus, and another on long term deficit reduction.
These fiscal cliff discussions are revealing that Republicans didn’t just lose an election, they also lost the philosophical battle over how to grow the economy.