Perspective is the subjective evaluation of relative significance, or point of view, and unfortunately it can be perverted depending on one’s veracity and grounding in reality. It is entirely possible for one to understand their perspective has no founding in reality, and yet still put forward an argument based on lies, buzzwords, and catch phrases in hopes their point of view, however faulty, makes sense to their audience. In the past, Republicans have had a measure of success convincing ignorant Americans their perspective on economic policy based on a pro-growth, anti-government agenda is the path to economic prosperity for all Americans, but after being exposed as abject failures and rejected at the polls, they cannot face reality that the people have come to understand their catchy slogans are as dishonest as they are contradictions.
In Republican parlance, pro-growth means tax cuts for the rich and corporations, deregulation, and slashing government spending regardless the damage to the economy, and dreaded “big government” is any federal spending that is not relegated to defense or tax cuts for corporations and the rich. In the President’s brilliant State of the Union speech, he laid out a vision that incorporates everything Republicans hate and have opposed from his first day in office; so-called big government that means investing in infrastructure, jobs, education, clean energy alternatives, and maintaining Social Security and Medicare that are key to a strong economy. It is curious, but Republicans deplore big government unless it works to their advantage to deny Americans personal liberties such as women’s reproductive rights, gay rights, minority’s rights (voting rights), and freedom from fundamentalist religious tyranny. However, big government aside, it is their pro-growth canard that will further retard economic growth and decimate the poor and middle class they now claim to hold in the highest regard.
Republicans fallacious esteem for Main Street America is belied by their “pro-growth” policies that, after thirty years, have reduced the middle class through wage cuts, job outsourcing, increased income inequality, and austerity in the form of education cuts, public sector job losses, and denying funding for infrastructure improvements. The push for austerity defies reason as one European nation after another that incorporated severe austerity suffers from slow, or no, growth and soaring unemployment, and yet it is the GOP’s sole remedy for creating jobs, growing the economy, and reducing the nation’s debt and deficit. A perfect example is the rapidly approaching sequestration cuts due to cripple the economy beginning on March 1st, and instead of working with the President to reach a balanced approach of new revenue and spending cuts, Republicans appear willing to let sequester cuts go into effect under the guise of pro-growth.
Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell is the latest high-ranking Republican to indicate no interest in doing anything to prevent sequester cuts. Yesterday McConnell said “I think we ought to keep the commitment we made, if the super-committee failed, these reductions (sequester) were made without raising taxes” referring to the President’s proposal to replace the cuts with a balance of new revenue and budget cuts. McConnell, like nearly all Republicans said, “It is pretty clear to me that the sequester is going to go into effect,” because as far as he is concerned, “the tax issue is over.” Another Republican, Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn said, “We’re waiting for the president to tell us how he wants to avoid the sequester,” but they oppose scrapping tax breaks for the oil-and-gas industry and eliminating tax breaks and loopholes unique to the largest corporations. Their offer is replacing sequester cuts with Draconian cuts to social programs, and in lieu of President Obama capitulating social program austerity, Republicans will allow sequester austerity, or as they call it; “pro-growth.”
Republicans understand what it will take to foster economic growth, rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, and create jobs that are intrinsic to a strong recovery, and they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the proposals the President conveyed in the State of the Union are the best approach to ensure prosperity for the nation and every American. Americans not mesmerized by the GOP’s buzzwords like “pro-growth” understand it was President Obama’s stimulus that saved the economy and staunched massive job losses, and his historically low spending is reducing the deficit and debt Republicans have made a priority to cut Social Security and privatize Medicare. However, they will be loath to consider any of the President’s proposals and are resolute to impose austerity whether by sequester or Draconian cuts and it informs their new-found regard for the middle class is as phony as their pro-growth agenda; because from their perspective, growth is for corporations and the rich, and austerity is for the people. If the economy crumbles like the nation’s infrastructure, then as Boehner says, so be it.