THE BLOG

What Kind of Thinking Is This?

04/05/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Lance Simmens Author, "Fracktured", "The Evolution of a Revolution", Political Activist, Commentator

All right, after all the posturing and the belly aching and the phony pleas to please listen to me, what it all comes down to is this: Republicans believe that deficits are the problem; Democrats believe that this broken down economy that we inherited needs to be fixed.

I watched Haley Barbour and John Thune on television yesterday arguing that we need deficit reduction and tax cuts. So that's what the unemployed in South Dakota and Mississippi are sitting around worrying about, eh, nonsense. That is what people who are not as comfortable as they once were are concerned about.

Where oh where have we heard this before? It is the same trickle-down baloney that is the one-size-fits-all economic pabulum that gets rolled out every time the Republicans need a tax cut fix. The only time Republicans are concerned about deficits is when fiscal policy does not involve tax cuts that exacerbate deficits. Yet it now appears that they have upped the ante and are only concerned about deficits whenever there is even a hint of domestic spending, regardless of whether there is a healthy dose of small business tax cuts thrown in for good measure as Obama outlined in the State of the Union address last week.

Deficits declined under the last Democratic Administration, deficits and debt exploded during the Reagan-Bush 41 Administrations, deficits hit unheard of levels during Bush 43, now deficit spending to stimulate economic growth is dangerous, according to these hypocritical naysayers of negativism.

I mean, they advocate deficits when the economy is growing and deficit reduction when the economy is a basket case. Yet to complete the irony of the whole sorry affair known as a broken financial and economic system that the ardent disciples of deregulation have wrought, they use high unemployment to shift the debate away from health care reform.

But once again, the solution to high unemployment is not jobs, not a program that proved itself so effective during the Depression, but rather the worn out psycho babble of trickle down economic theory that has never proven itself effective, ever. If we just unleash the power of the almighty capital markets, by reducing taxes, the economy will bounce back and we will work our way back to a full employment economy, which I assume at this point means something in the realm of six-seven percent unemployment.

We unleashed the potential of the private marketplace during the first eight years of the new millennium and it brought us perilously close to a total unmitigated collapse. The financial meltdown that has brought us this new blast of economic misery is a direct result of the delusion of free marketers who refuse to accept that financial markets, like nature, abhor a vacuum and from time to time need serious readjustment. And yet, these are the same patriots who are delirious to the point of apoplexy when they are confronted with the hard decisions of whether or not to participate in the policy-making process.

I understand the frustration on the part of Obama, he is sincerely trying to make things work and I know he is a true believer in the rationality of man, he just cannot help but think that when confronted with the truth, with facts, with science, that the lock-step opposition mounted by the other side will give way to what is actually best for the public good.

The anger in Massachusetts was irrational. In effect the people were so disgusted with the lack of action on behalf of the ruling party that they decided they would send them a message by making it more difficult for them to actually take action. Of course it is counterintuitive, of course it is irrational, but so was the sad story of having lower- and middle-income Americans vote against their own economic self-interest, as they certainly did during the last Administration.

We must regroup and move forward, no time outs, no re-examination, no recalibrating. Just move forward. We know what needs to be done; we have a brilliant, calm, and inspiring leader. Figure out what can be done and do it. We simply cannot afford to just compartmentalize to the point where we chuck one part of the agenda in order to focus on the other. What is required is seamless and interlocking coordination. The problem is complex and the solution is therefore, well, complex.

Health care reform is an important component of job creation. Addressing climate change through an energy security strategy that focuses on shifting the economic paradigm from one dominated by fossil fuels to one dominated by alternative energy sources creates jobs. Focusing on our deteriorating infrastructure creates` jobs. Getting control of our runaway financial system will foster lending that will benefit small business and create jobs.

If they do not want to play, we must take the chance to forge ahead without them, if we are wrong we will pay the price, but if we do nothing because we spend all of our time trying to accommodate the irrationality of their arguments we will pay the price anyway.