It is not unusual during elections for candidates to cast aspersion on their rivals to portray them as unworthy of support, and Republicans have spent considerable time blaming President Obama for sluggish job growth. In fact, the GOP, and particularly Willard Romney, has assailed the President for not creating jobs they claim is only possible if the wealthy receive more tax cuts and the government goes on a deregulation frenzy. The GOP agenda has never changed in over thirty years, and despite the abject failure of their grand scheme to enrich “job creators” and their corporations, they persist in attempting to convince Americans that the policies that have failed time and time again are the only remedy to save the economy and spur full employment. Romney, in particular, assails the President for being “anti-business, anti-investment, and anti-job policies,” but as usual, Romney lies.
It is important to remember that on Inauguration Day, a group of Republican leaders gathered to map out their plan to obstruct every one of the President’s economic plans and they certainly followed through on their promises. Since the President has been in office, Republicans voted against the stimulus that created over 3 million jobs, infrastructure improvements, breaks for small businesses that hire new employees, all of the jobs bills, and any program to spur economic growth. Republicans, and Romney, claim that if the President had concentrated on job creation instead of the landmark healthcare reform bill, the economy would be in better shape than it is and Americans would be back to work. However, their obstructionist tactics have subverted any attempts to create jobs so their argument falls flat.
Yesterday the President pointed out that the private sector created 4.3 million jobs in the past 27 months, but highlighted there are problems with state and local governments that have suffered cuts from austerity measures that resulted in the public sector losing over 600,000 jobs. The President’s stimulus package helped create and save millions of jobs as states received much needed federal relief, and if Republicans in Congress spent money for the public sector like they did during George W. Bush’s administration, the unemployment rate would fall to 7.3% immediately. Remember too, that when Speaker John Boehner was informed that Republican budget cuts would eliminate 1.1 million jobs, he said “so be it.” If the public sector added back the nearly million jobs lost to austerity measures, those workers would increase their spending that would create more private sector jobs and the unemployment numbers would drop significantly.
The Republican assertion that giving so-called job creators tax cuts creates jobs has been tested since Bush was president, and after they held unemployment benefit extensions and payroll tax cuts hostage for a two-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, jobs never materialized disproving their claim that tax-cuts create jobs. What creates jobs, according to business owners across the country, is not lower taxes or deregulation, but putting money into the economy as evidenced by the President’s stimulus package. In fact, what Republicans are loath to mention is that the stimulus contained $275 billion in tax cuts for the middle class that they promptly spent boosting the economy and creating more jobs. Every Republican voted against the stimulus package that created over 3.1 million jobs making their “jobs a high priority” meme as false as their campaign pledge leading up to the 2010 midterm elections. It is part of the historical record that for the past year-and-a-half, Republicans have spent all their time creating religious edicts against women, same-sex marriage, and contraception instead of focusing on “jobs, jobs, jobs” they campaigned on with religious fervor.
If there is any blame for killing jobs in the past three years, it falls on Republicans in Congress and states who have worked tirelessly to slash social safety nets and shrink the government. By a large margin, Republicans voted against the Detroit auto industry bailout that saved hundreds-of-thousands of jobs and created 170,000 new ones, and yet they voted to give Wall Street $700 billion to rescue the people who decimated the world’s economy and killed millions of American’s jobs. Still, Republicans and Romney are parroting the canard that President Obama’s policies are retarding job creation and restricting job creators from investing in America and it is time for the President to cease the niceties and place the blame where it belongs; on Republicans.
President Obama has taken the high road throughout his tenure with attempts at bipartisanship that voters said they expect from their representatives, but Republicans have conceded nothing for the past three years. Instead, they have blocked legislation to stimulate the economy and create jobs while complaining the wealthy need more tax breaks to invest in America. Taxes are their lowest rates in 60 years, government spending is at its lowest level since before Reagan was president, and still, Republicans want more for the wealthy and smaller government. Their policies have sent more Americans below the poverty line than any developed country except for Romania, and their Draconian spending cuts and budgets portend more job losses that will drive the economy into a deep recession. It is time for the President to talk to the American people and educate them why job growth is sluggish and exactly who is responsible.
The government cannot create full employment on its own, but it can boost employment in the public sector by investing in education, infrastructure, and small businesses that Republicans are intent on obstructing, and the public needs to understand the damage Republican cuts to government spending has on jobs and the economy. Republicans and their Mormon candidate for president have broadcast their intention to shrink government, give $10.7 trillion in tax cuts to the wealthy, privatize Medicare and Veterans benefits, and the results will be a country of unemployed peasants while the wealthy wallow in luxury. That is the message President Obama and Democrats must relate to the American people and with facts and data to back up their message, only fools, racists, religious fanatics, and hardline conservatives will support the destructive agenda Republicans are promoting as America’s salvation.
The President has tried bipartisanship, negotiation, and concessions to move the country forward, and Republicans have not budged on their Draconian, government destroying agenda and, indeed, have ratcheted up their push to finish what Bush-Republicans started with deregulation, two unfunded and unnecessary wars, and more tax cuts for the rich. Willard Romney has broadcast his intention of going farther with Bush-era policies that sent the country on a course of destruction and it is astounding that one American would vote for revisiting the most disastrous administration in our history, but there is no accounting for racists, religious fanatics, and ridiculously stupid Americans who will go to the polls in November and vote for their own, and this country’s demise. Now, it is up to President Obama to tell the American people what semi-intelligent Americans with a memory already understand; high unemployment, the sluggish economy, and threat of war are entirely the fault of Republicans.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.