It is fairly well known that since Republican demigod Ronald Reagan was president, the GOP have concentrated on the one and only economic agenda that has proven to fail since its inception. Oh it is true that there are several other failed economic policies Republicans embrace besides just giving outrageously generous and unfunded tax cuts to the richest one percent, but oil subsidies, spending cuts, financial deregulation, poverty wages and allowing corporations to hide their trillions of dollars in profits are secondary in the extent of harm to the economy and Americans to the absurd trickle down scam. However, over the past six years Republicans have employed a novel means of wreaking economic havoc on the nation that typically has had nothing whatsoever to do with spending, debt and deficit, or growing the economy, and this year they are using religion to slow down job creation and thwart economic growth.
The world’s economists, like all Americans, have sat back and marveled at how Republicans in Congress have deliberately and repeatedly taken the country into fiscal deadline after fiscal deadline to force Democrats to bend to their will. Now, as another deadlines looms, a majority of economists responding to a Wall Street Journal survey predicted Republicans would once again damage the economy and world financial markets because evangelicals hate Roe v. Wade, contraception, and the incomprehensible idea of women making their own reproductive health choices that are contrary to evangelical and Catholic clergy.
According to a recent survey of 62 real economists by the Wall Street Journal, it is not the instability of China’s stock market, or its move to devalue its currency, or the Greek Eurozone crisis, or the possibility of the Federal Reserve finally raising interest rates. What frightens a great majority of the nation’s leading economic experts most of all is that the Republican-controlled Congress will “precipitate another fiscal crisis this fall” when Republicans plan to either shut down the government unless Planned Parenthood is destroyed, or hold the debt ceiling hostage until Planned Parenthood is destroyed. It is important to note that the push to put an end to Planned Parenthood has nothing to do with the economy, debt and deficit, national security, jobs, or economic growth; it is about legislating and enforcing an extremist religious policy.
The devoutly Republican Wall Street Journal’s economic round table noted that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made a solemn promise that Republicans would never shut down the government, or ever hold the debt ceiling hostage again. However, McConnell, or Speaker John Boehner for that matter, does not lead the Republican-controlled Congress; that power belongs to evangelical maniac Ted Cruz and his extremist clergymen in both chambers.
According to the WSJ Survey: Economists Cite Budget Battle as Top Threat, “After watching Congress repeatedly crash into fiscal deadlines in recent years, a majority of economists are expecting a repeat performance, with 55% of respondents to the latest Wall Street Journal survey of 62 economists predicting that there will be some disruption to the economy and financial markets in the months ahead.” And it will be the result of Republicans who intend on using the upcoming budget deadline and debt ceiling to achieve their neo-American Christianity’s goal of abolishing Planned Parenthood. According to current crop of GOP-theocrats, the Supreme Court illegally used the Constitution’s 14th Amendment to “allow” women to choose when they give birth.
The WSJ economists are fearful that yet another evangelical Republican economic disruption will have a really serious impact on their forecast for 2.2 percent GDP growth and a 5.1 percent unemployment rate by the end of 2015. The economists, who have witnessed Republicans “produce significant damage to the American economy” three times over the past six years said they are convinced Republicans will do a repeat performance such as the debt ceiling crisis of 2011, the fiscal cliff showdown in 2012, and the 2013 government shutdown that adversely affected the American economy and won Republicans control of the entire Congress. The economists, particularly the chief U.S. economist of High Frequency Economics forecasting firm, Jim O’Sullivan, said if Republicans as varied in extremism as Ted Cruz and John McCain follow through on their threat to shut down the government if Planned Parenthood is not destroyed, especially with a new budget and borrowing authority due by October 1st, they will repeat their past “serious damage to the economy by harming consumer confidence.”
The economists are not just imagining a worst-case scenario without empirical data, they noted that in 2011 when Republicans held the debt-ceiling hostage, not only did it cost the Treasury billions and billions of dollars in higher borrowing costs due to a first-in-history credit downgrade, it destroyed American consumer confidence. The result was, according to economic experts, real data, Reuters and the Christian Science Monitor, “the Republican debt-ceiling debacle caused job creation, consumer confidence, and economic growth to nose-dive.” It was “mission accomplished” for Republicans who have been stellar at killing jobs and thwarting a robust economic recovery since they crashed the world’s economy just seven years’ ago.
It is important to remember that when Standard & Poor (S&P) downgraded America’s stellar credit in 2011, it was solely because Republicans “expressed skepticism about the serious consequences of a credit default,” and that “the stability and effectiveness of American political institutions were undermined by the fact that “people in the political arena were even talking about a creating a credit default. That a country even has such voices is something notable. This kind of rhetoric is not common amongst AAA sovereigns.”
What S&P, like the WSJ’s panel of economists, certainly understands is that nothing about the rhetoric from the current crop of Republicans is common, or sane, or economically sound, or in this looming crisis, unrelated to evangelical fundamentalism. Seriously, Republicans cannot complain about federal spending because it has been lower in every year of President Obama’s tenure, and the annual budget deficit has shrunk by two-thirds. What Republicans will shut down the government over is not about spending, or a debt crisis; it will be about women and men having access to cancer screenings, family planning, and contraceptive use; all issues founded on religion and all issues Republicans will use to dampen consumer confidence, damage job creation, and prevent economic growth.
Although in the past the extremists in Republican ranks were ever-present, it has become a requisite to be over-the-top extreme since the Republican presidential primary began. Since they have no cause célèbre like the Affordable Care Act to use as a reason to shut down the government or destroy the “full faith and credit of the United States,” Republicans have embraced the religious right’s war on women’s right to choose as the newest reason to, at least, damage the economy. It is important that the latest warning from economists are all affiliated with the Republican Wall Street Journal, and although they acknowledged that the economic crisis in China, affordable oil prices, and Greek economic woes certainly impact America’s economy, they are only warning that, like in 2008, 2011, 2012, and 2013, it is extremist Republicans that continue to pose the greatest threat to America’s economy.
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.