On Monday’s show, Rachel Maddow revealed that while Boston was on lock down under attack, Republicans were trying to invoke Simpson/Bowles austerity again, which would have resulted in firing the government workers who were in Boston, doing what they do to protect our country.
Bad timing? Oh, yes.
Rachel Maddow explained, “A week and a half ago, they tried to relaunch the Magna Carta, the Simpson/Bowles plan. The conservative American austerity idea been around for a few years now, but they attempted to relaunch it on the morning that ended up being the day that Boston was locked down for 17 hours while the nation was transfixed by the man hunt for the Boston bombing suspect.”
Watch here via MSNBC:
RACHEL MADDOW (partial transcript from MSNBC with slight modifications, my emphasis):
Cutting hundreds of billions of dollars at once out of what government does hurts us as a country. What we have learned, though, thus far by doing that is that only some people get relief from those cuts. Only people with political capital get relief from those cuts. Congress feels your pain; we’ll get on fixing that. The reason we are doing this, inflicting harm on the country, all this harm on people who do not have enough political capital to save themselves is the doctrine of austerity.
The overall idea right now, it’s the conservative idea of what to do for a nation going through an economic shock that we went through at the end of the Bush presidency. Austerity is the solution according to the beltway.
They want the government to spend less, which sounds great if you see it only as government spending and not as stuff that the government does. Spending, that can’t be good for anything, but stuff the government does, yeah, sometimes that’s stuff we want. A week and a half ago, they tried to relaunch the Magna Carta, the Simpson/Bowles plan. The conservative American austerity idea been around for a few years now, but they attempted to relaunch it on the morning that ended up being the day that Boston was locked down for 17 hours while the nation was transfixed by the man hunt for the Boston bombing suspect.
Bad timing, right? Both in terms of the optics of relaunching, in the midst of a massive and ultimately successful government effort to find that bombing suspect. That was the day that the streets of Watertown, Massachusetts, literally lined with Americans crying with joy and cheering their emergency services. Clapping their government workers on the back for a job well done, the nation is grateful. That is a bad day to launch the let’s fire the entire government workers plan, right? Bad timing for the Simpson/bowles relaunch that day. Well, yesterday they re-relaunched it in friendlier environments, they relaunched it on the op-ed page of the ” Washington post.” The bigger picture is that the whole doctrine that austerity is a good thing for economies, specifically for economies in trouble, that whole doctrine globally is falling apart. Falling apart here at home, it’s falling apart globally, as well.
The most bitter irony of all is that according to Think Progress, “Obama released his 2014 budget proposal, a moderate plan aimed at fostering a long-term compromise with the GOP. And yet again the Obama plan, which this time also includes unpopular entitlement cuts aimed at placating Republicans, calls for both lower revenue and spending levels than Simpson-Bowles did…” Yes, you read that correctly. The Obama plan calls for lower revenue and spending levels than the second version of Simpson/Bowles. Ezra Klein explained recently just how Simpson/Bowles V 2.0 ended up leaning so far to the right.
This is further evidence that Republicans are not really worried about the “deficit”. You probably figured that out during the Bush years. But just in case you weren’t sure, they are now proving it. It’s not about the deficit. It’s about cutting all of the programs they don’t like, including most government jobs that we watched protect this nation on the day of the Boston bombing. It’s about cutting taxes for the rich and slashing spending on government programs for everyone else.
Imagine if they had been successful the week before the Boston bombing. Imagine if there were not speed bumps of Democrats to stop them from their austerity for everyone else addiction. Imagine if we didn’t have first responders and government workers. Imagine if they were all privatized for the profit of the few, with cheap, underpaid labor.