The market crash and Great Recession of 2008 was devastating for most Americans, and even though President Obama and Democrats have fought gallantly to create economic recovery for the entire population, it has been a hard road because Republicans have obstructed every recovery attempt that helps all the American people. Over the past two days there was good news on the economic front, but as is usually the case in America, the great majority of Americans still have little to celebrate and much reason to despair, and although the news was good, Republicans were less than enthused. In fact, Republicans took their normal low-road approach to the continuing signs that under President Obama’s leadership, the economy is improving.
After the 2008 market decline, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 7,949 when the President took office on January 20, 2009, and on Tuesday it reached a new high of over 15,000 that is a 90% improvement under President Obama. Conservatives should have been ecstatic; because while their financial benefactors are reaping incredible profits due to the President’s policies, they successfully killed jobs, middle class incomes, and decimated safety nets in their phony debt-and-deficit reduction frenzy they claim averts economic catastrophe. One conservative group, Capitol Hill Daily, sent a letter to Citizen United’s listserv accusing President Obama of “wrecking the stock market” and called for impeaching the President; because Wall Street is thriving in record fashion. In fact, the wealthy and their corporations have taken all the benefits of recovery as the rest of the population continues their downward spiral into poverty that Republicans are accelerating at a record pace.
A little over two weeks ago, a Pew Research Center analysis of newly released Census Bureau data revealed that the net worth of households in the upper 7% of Americans rose by 28%, while the net worth of households in the lower 93% dropped by over 4% as a result of Republicans’ job-killing debt and deficit reduction canard. The records only covered the period between 2009 and 2011, and with Republicans hammering away at the bottom 93% with Draconian cuts and job-killing policies such as the sequester, the masses have certainly lost more wealth that flowed directly to the rich. Still, with what should have been good news for Republicans that their favorite Americans, the wealthy and Wall Street, have taken all the recovery while the rest of the country falls deeper into poverty, conservatives want to impeach the President and it can only be because the rich have yet to control all of the nation’s wealth. In order to achieve that goal, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner are plotting to impose harsher cuts on the great majority of Americans and give the wealthy and corporations what little is left as a means of reducing the debt and deficit that is falling and it is the other news Republicans cannot be thrilled about.
On Tuesday, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that the nation’s debt is $231 billion less than the budget shortfall for the same period last year, and they also highlighted the fact the declining debt is entirely due to increased revenue and not Republican spending cuts that do more harm to the economy than good. The report proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Republican economic theory of taking money out of the economy to spur growth and reduce the debt is as absurd as their insane idea that spending cuts that kill millions of Americans’ jobs is crucial to create millions of American jobs. Despite the good news that increased revenue and not spending cuts that cut the debt, Republicans are bracing for a fight to impose more “debt-reducing cuts” and give greater tax cuts to the rich as a ransom for the debt ceiling increase approaching this summer.
Within hours of the CBO report that new revenue reduced the nation’s debt by at least $231 billion even before the Republican sequester was enacted, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made the Republican ransom demand to raise the debt ceiling in a repeat of 2011’s hostage scenario that gave America its first credit downgrade in history. McConnell promised that Republicans will not increase the nation’s debt limit this summer unless it is ransomed with legislation to reduce the federal deficit, and as he has stated before, new revenue that reduces the federal deficit will not be part of the deal. In fact he demanded new tax reform that in Republican parlance means tax cuts for the rich and tax hikes for everyone else. In a statement to reporters, McConnell said “I can tell you with certainty I think it’s extremely unlikely that any Republican is going to vote to raise the debt ceiling without doing something about the debt,” and that he was in talks with Speaker John Boehner and other House leaders to add tax reform (cuts) to spending cuts as part of a deficit-reduction plan to ransom debt limit increase. As a reminder, Republicans raised the debt limit for George W. Bush 19 times without a ransom or job-killing, poverty-creating cuts, but it is important to remember too that Bush, a convicted war criminal, is a white man.
There is absolutely no rhyme or reason to Republican economic policy, and nothing this President can do that will not elicit calls for impeachment, and to make matters worse, they are Hell-bent and duty bound to undo recovery and impose deeper cuts on the population under the guise of debt reduction regardless the millions of jobs they kill and Americans they send into poverty. That McConnell is giddy about holding the debt ceiling hostage again is not surprising after he boasted the remarkable Republican success of a credit downgrade in 2011, and in fact he promised Republicans would ransom the debt increase again less than two years ago. Republicans have devised an economic agenda to destroy the economy and hand over every last penny of wealth to the rich based on job-killing cuts, tax breaks for the rich, and increasing poverty by decimating the bottom 95% of Americans rendering extinct any chance of ever achieving the now-defunct American dream. However, President Obama is still an African American President and regardless Wall Street just reached a milestone that five years ago seemed out of the realm of possibility, conservatives translated Wall Street’s good news into a reason for impeachment and it informs that until a cabal of white plutocrats hold all the wealth, Republicans will continue eviscerating the economy and the people. But they better do it quickly because with a budget surplus of $112 billion in April 2013, and continued GDP growth, a budget surplus by fiscal 2015 is looking like a very real possibility and likely will be another reason to begin impeachment proceedings.
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.