One common theme emerging from the current hullaballoo over the desperately-needed stimulus package is this: Cons don’t want one. Unless, of course, it consists entirely of tax cuts. They never shut up about tax cuts.
Now, my darlings, I know you’re not stupid. You know that just because someone repeats something ad nauseum does not mean it’s true. But you probably all have easily-snookered people in your lives, whom you care about. You may only care because no one has to pass a basic economics test in order to vote, and you wish they’d stop voting for outrageous idiots, but still, you care.
Larry Mishel on the effect, or more precisely the lack of any effect, of the 2003 tax cuts on “Jobs and Growth”:
Tax cut approach has already been tried and failed as stimulus:…[The administration claimed t]he Bush tax cuts of 2003 … would generate 1.4 million jobs on top of the 4.1 million jobs that were expected to be generated over the eighteen months following June 2003. See [here]…
EPI tracked the initiative’s effectiveness through a website, www.jobwatch.org, and found that it fell far short of its goals. Not only did the promised 1.4 million additional jobs not appear, but the 4.1 million jobs expected with no action also failed to materialize. In all, only 2.4 million jobs were created—1.7 million short of the administration’s projection without their new policy. Thus, by the Bush administration’s own metrics the tax cut program fell short by a total of 3.1 million jobs (149,000 pr month). For an analysis of how the Bush 2003 tax plan (The “Jobs and Growth” plan) fell short of its job claims see [here]…
On what basis can the conservatives who embraced those failed initiatives now claim that tax cuts are the best policy?
It seems Republicans have but one answer to every problem, get government out of the way through tax cuts and deregulation. When they are asked what caused it, whatever it might be, there is one answer, government. When asked how to fix it, whatever it might be, there is but one answer, reduce government through tax cuts and deregulation. For many, especially the politicians, it doesn’t matter whether tax cuts will actually fix the economy, the goal is to reduce the size of government by any means, and they see this as an opportunity to do just that.
They already screwed this up once, the initial tax cut stimulus package put into place last spring was too small and poorly targeted, it had all sorts of problems all in the name of appeasing this same group – and here they are trying to muck up the process once again, to hold jobs hostage while they try to get tax cuts in place, even though something like 40% of the package is already devoted to tax cuts. Camel, tent, nose. I think it’s time to stand up and say no, sorry, you lost the election, and not by just a little bit. You had your chance and look where we ended up – with a terrible economy, huge holes in the budget making it much harder to respond to the downturn, a financial sector wrecked by your anti-government, self-regulation philosophy, what is it about the past several years that would lead us to have any confidence at all you have the slightest clue how to manage a well-running economy instead of driving it into a ditch, let alone heal one that is broken?
Down that road lies an economy in ruins, hundreds of thousands of jobs vanishing at an appalling pace, an ever-increasing gap between rich and poor, and a vanishing middle-class. Why the fuck do we want to walk it again?
If Cons had anything useful to contribute, and if they understood bi means two, I’d be quite pleased with Obama including them in the construction and passage of this bill. Considering that all they have to offer are the same horrible ideas that caused this disaster in the first place, I say fuck ‘em. The people who broke the country don’t get to tell us how to fix it.
The next time the Cons want to throw their weight around and try to impose their will on the stimulus package, this is the only response Obama should give them:
You can tell him so here.