There are few Americans who doubt the conservative mantra that change is abhorrent and to be rejected at all costs is the driving sentiment among the current crop of Republican presidential candidates. It is true that Republicans refuse to change their patriarchal attitude towards women, cannot seek peace instead of wars, or work to promote equality for all citizens, but where they have held firm regardless the consequences is their failed approach to the economy. Since the Republican demigod Ronald Reagan ushered in the concept of giving everything to the rich and taking from the poor and middle class, it has been the sole economic agenda proffered from every Republican; including the Republican presidential field.
At the Republican debate on Tuesday last, Republicans stood arm-in-arm in calling for outrageous tax breaks for the rich and keeping wages at poverty level was the key to America’s full employment, zero debt and deficits, and never-before-seen economic growth. However, it was curious that for a debate being hosted by a business channel, Fox Business, there were not tough questions with follow up asking Republicans why America’s economy always does better under Democratic Administrations. That is not just anecdotal, a rash of recent analyses confirmed for the ten-thousandth time that under Democratic presidents, the American economy grows faster, job creation improves drastically, stock prices rise, and the nation’s GDP improves.
According to research gathered and reported on by the New Democrat Network, the last four presidencies reveal that beyond question: Republican presidents dependably create economic recessions, fewer jobs, expanded government, and larger deficits. Conversely, Democratic administrations lead to economic growth, job gains, and lower deficits. Harkening back and assessing just the past four presidents, two Democrats and two Republicans, it is beyond refute that the Democratic approach to managing the nation’s economy works and Republicans who reject changing their “trickle down” approach fail miserably.
It would have been interesting to hear any one of the Republican candidates explain away that historically, and currently unfolding, fact to Republicans watching the debate. Any Democrat or conscious American already knows, by experience, that Republican presidents fail with their unchanging ‘trickle down, austerity” economic approach. The candidates likely would have just dissolved into a puddle of lies; particularly since their unrelenting predictions that the Affordable Care Act would destroy the economy and kill millions of jobs has turned out to be as “shockingly wrong” as when they prophesied that the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton’s 1993 budget would annihilate jobs and decimate the economy forever.
Republicans claim they, and only they, can oversee robust job growth primarily by cutting taxes for the rich and corporations; the only solution offered by the Republican presidential field. However, on job growth there were well over 30 million “new” net jobs created by the Obama and Clinton presidencies while during the two Bush administrations, only 3.5 million hew jobs were created. As one pundit put it so even an idiotic Republican could understand it; “on a yearly basis the two Democratic presidents have produced jobs at 7 times the rate of the two Bushes or 2.1 million versus 300,000 per year.”
With better job creation records the unemployment rate naturally declines. Both Democratic presidents’ job creation success produced more than a 3 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate during their tenures in the Oval Office. The Bushes both presided over increases in the unemployment rate by over 2 and 3 percentage points respectively. Still, the Republicans seeking the White House have no issue promising that if they are elected, they will immediately reinstate the same failed job-killing economic policies that produced higher unemployment and fewer jobs as the Bush presidents.
The other area Republicans are resistant to change is government spending as opposed to their tactic of only resort; austerity and “draconian spending cuts at all levels of government.” Austerity never works during an economic downturn and the one-time, frankly inadequate, Obama stimulus, the last time government invested in America, would have been “incredibly more effective had it not been offset by draconian spending cuts by state and local governments under GOP control. In fact, the Hamilton Institute estimated that Republican austerity policies actually cost Americans over 2.2 million jobs and “resulted in the slowest recovery since World War II.”
The Economic Policy Institute concurred with the real economists at the Hamilton Institute and explained that:
“The current recovery is the only one that has seen public-sector losses over its first 31 months…If public-sector employment had grown since June 2009 by the average amount it grew in the three previous recoveries (2.8 percent) instead of shrinking by 2.5 percent, there would be 1.2 million more public-sector jobs in the U.S. economy today. In addition, these extra public-sector jobs would have helped preserve about 500,000 private-sector jobs.”
Regardless of the Republican attempts to thwart any Obama recovery beginning on Inauguration night and continuing unabated today, the President still easily outperformed the Republicans proceeding him in managing the economy; particularly during the great Republican administration’s recession. Whether it was creating millions of jobs, reducing the unemployment rate or saving the American automobile industry, President Barack Obama accomplished it all while “keeping government spending flat and cutting annual budget deficits by two-thirds.” It is something that no Republican has, or ever will, accomplish because they will never accept change and abandon their failed trickle down, austerity, economic agenda. It is why, no matter who the nominee is, a Democratic president will continue the Obama economic recovery and any Republican will take little time to repeat the Bush economic disasters.
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.