Why are Republicans forcing a government shutdown and doing other things aimed at blowing up the economy? The question isn't "are they," it is why are they? Their election strategy for 2010 was to obstruct everything and keep the economy from creating jobs, and then blame Democrats. It worked. So now they're doing it even more. But is that the whole plan?
In every instance Republicans are obstructing the very things that can help the economy recover and provide the jobs people need. Everything they do is aimed at making things worse. It is hard to understand their actions except as a systematic attempt to blow up the economy.
- They are blocking agreement on a budget to keep the government going.
- They are terrifying the credit markets by threatening to block an increase in the country's debt limit.
- They are refusing assistance to states, forcing the states to lay off hundreds of thousands of teachers, etc.
- They are fighting to roll back every regulation that relates to banking and finance.
- They are killing high-speed rail and solar and wind projects.
- They are blocking renewable energy standards and other policies that trigger investment and jobs.
- They are blocking needed stimulus programs that help recovery.
- They are blocking unemployment benefit extensions.
When confronted they offer ridiculous explanations which are really only cover for the actions, so they can claim to have a reason beyond destruction. But this is only to provide cover and keep the press and public from calling them out for what they are.
Cutting Jobs Creates Jobs?
Speaking of ridiculous explanations, they say they are cutting jobs in order to create jobs. Seriously. Digby today, in Flooding The Market, caught this about the Republican plan,
For example, the [Republican economic report] paper predicts that cutting the number of public employees would send highly skilled workers job hunting in the private sector, which in turn would lead to lower labor costs and increased employment. But "lowering labor costs" is economist-speak for lowering wages -- does the GOP want to be in the position of advocating for lower wages for voters who work in the private sector?
Got that? Throw enough people out of work and wages go down, which they say leads to more employment. That's their plan?
One advantage of throwing so many people out of work is that they will work for very little just to eat and feed their families. This is great if you own a business (and don't care about people) -- not so great if you depend on American consumers to purchase what you sell. But that's a problem for later, after you've broken the unions and cut your labor costs. We know this is one part of their strategy because they said so.
A Grander Strategy Than Killing The Economy To Win In 2012?
Are they killing the economy in order to win the next election? Or is this part of an even grander strategy?
So is there a bigger plan at work here? Step back from the day-to-day for a minute, and away from the fog of propaganda and smoke and sand thrown in our eyes to keep us from seeing what is really happening. For decades conservatives have said government is bad, in the way, intrusive holding business back, bureaucratic, inefficient, etc. You have heard the litany, over and over and over.
So What IS Their Plan?
It seems conservatives are always running one strategy or another, always working on a plan. Speaking of grand strategies and plans, watch this from Lee Camp:
They Hate Government
If you read their websites and magazines you know that they hate government and talk about ways to get rid of it. They have said they just want government to go away and have been running strategies to get it small enough that they can drown it in a bathtub. If you are a Republican who doesn't think destroying government is the best approach you are called a RINO and shunned.
They don't talk about governing, they talk about killing government, and when they get power they don't govern they destroy government. They appoint industry lobbyists to agencies that are supposed to oversee their own industries. They appoint polluters to the agencies that are supposed to protect us from pollution. And they appoint people who have called for getting government out of areas like education, medical care, etc. to head up and dismantle those departments.
They talk about destroying government, not governing. So what makes the DC opinion elite think they want to govern now?
Destroy Government Then Blame Government For The Consequences?
Trickling up from conservative underground lately are more and more arguments that government itself is responsible for the crumbling infrastructure, loss of economic competitiveness. The unspoken answer - so far - is that we need to get rid of government itself to get rid of these problems.
Last Week in Detroit's Liberal Nightmare, the Heritage Foundation paves the way for what I think we will see coming from conservatives,
Detroit, once known as "the great arsenal of democracy," has made headlines of late for its notorious fall from grace. ... And while the Motor City suffers unemployment from a decimated automotive industry, it suffers crime, high taxes, poor city services, plummeting home values, and a public education system in shambles with a $327 million budget deficit and a 19 percent dropout rate. Is it any wonder people are leaving in droves?
Just today, in Voting With Their Feet, Thomas Sowell blames government for other areas where the census shows are are losing population,
Both whites and blacks are leaving California, the poster state for the liberal, welfare-state and nanny-state philosophy.
Whites are also fleeing the big northeastern liberal, welfare states like Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as the same kinds of states in the midwest, such as Michigan, Ohio and Illinois.
And unspoken in all of their anti-government arguments is just what will replace government, namely the big, powerful corporations and the wealthy few behind them.
Follow Dave Johnson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/dcjohnson