Monday, July 9, 2012

Without GOP, Unemployment Would be Under 6%

Without GOP, Unemployment Would be Under 6%

The above title has been my political thesis for the last 3 1/2 years: our economic progress is being deliberately stalled by the GOP. The Republicans, via a coordinated two tier attack, want to sabotage the economy so that they can regain power.

Tier 1: The congressional GOP have effectively obstructed any legislation designed to bring tax relief, employment opportunities and mortgage assistance for middle and working class Americans. Each time our economy seems to gain a little muster, the GOP congressmen threaten to bring us back to the brink of collapse over debt ceiling demands.

Tier 2: As the American economy began to create new jobs -- no small task when you consider that under Bush we were losing 800,000 jobs per month during the 2008 economic meltdown -- many states controlled by Republican governors began laying off teachers, police, firemen and other government workers. In states like Wisconsin, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan etc., GOP governors declared war on labor unions and collective bargaining.

In each of the above case: the GOP argued that American debt was the reason behind their actions. They exclaimed, now is the time to make significant cuts in our multi-trillion dollar deficit. They declared that government, like a household budget, can not continue to spend more than the revenue available

Sounds plausible. Sounds prudent. Sounds financial sound.

The problem is: our country was in the midst of a Great Depression like economic free far. No business, bank, financial institution or corporation was investing in economic growth or job creation. And if government did not intervene -- Stimulus Bill -- millions and millions more Americans would lose their jobs, homes, bank account and stock portfolio.

The following article was originally posted on AlterNet

The GOP has been on an economic wrecking mission ever since the election of Barack Obama - indeed we now know that leading Republican strategists and legislators met and planned a course of economic sabotage and complete obstruction on Obama's very first day in office.
This obstruction has had a huge price - a deliberate price that the GOP is betting the American people will blame on President Obama. GOP obstruction did not prevent the passage of ARRA - the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - popularly know as "The Stimulus" bill of 2009 during the height of the economic disaster as the economy was falling off a cliff - the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that ARRA has saved up to 3 million jobs. But nearly every economic measure since then has been blocked by GOP obstruction, filibusters and brinksmanship.
What has been the result of GOP obstruction?
It is hard to quantify what constant obstruction has cost - you could tally up estimates of every measure that came along, but not all would have passed - nor even been introduced if previous measures had been adopted that obviated their need. But we can look at just two big examples and get a minimal measure of the human cost to American citizens of a deliberate policy to destroy the economy in order to bring down the president; 1) austerity, and 2) obstruction of the 2011 American Jobs Act. Taking just those into account, the unemployment rate would be under 6% were it not for deliberate GOP wrecking

Austerity is madness - many in the GOP actually believe that austerity during an economic downturn is the right thing to do - even 'socialist' Europe was convinced of this - although most realize it is not true, and has no history of success - even Mitt Romney unwittingly admittedas much in an unguarded moment. But that hasn't stopped savage austerity on the state and local level - which has cost over 600,000 public sector jobs so far.
Normally in a recession and recovery government at all levels increase public employment - this has happened in every GOP administration - and much of that increase is funded by federal government grants to the state and local governments. But since the Stimulus, the GOP has blocked any substantial help for the states, and in GOP led states severe austerity cuts have been the rule - even including GOP governors rejecting projects fully funded by the federal government. The economic cost of this is far more than just those 600 thousand jobs - the spillover effect on private business and local economies has been devastating - when you factor in all these effects the total job cost of austerity has been estimated at 2.3 million jobs.  read more

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