Sunday, February 8, 2009

Marching In Lockstep With Blinders On

Today, I open the morning newspaper and this is what I see:
But the competing bills now reflect substantially different approaches. The House puts greater emphasis on helping states and localities avoid wide-scale cuts in services and layoffs of public employees. The Senate cut $40 billion of that aid from its bill, which is expected to be approved Tuesday.

The Senate plan, reached in an agreement late Friday between Democrats and three moderate Republicans, focuses somewhat more heavily on tax cuts, provides far less generous health care subsidies for the unemployed and lowers a proposed increase in food stamps.

Are you people idiots?

How is this not a repeat of the exact same failed policies of the past eight years?

Who are these Republican “moderates” and spineless Democrats and why have they not learned a thing from the past administration? Who are these people who insist on doing the same thing but expecting different results?

Jon at C&L reminds us of the Republican Party’s own $1.4 trillion economic stimulus of 2001. On Friday I reminded everyone of the Republican’s last great economic stimulus idea of 2008.

It didn’t work. We’re worse off now than we were then. Every person got a check for $600 and we’re still in the toilet.

Look, people can’t eat tax cuts. They can’t pay their rent with them. People don’t need just one check in their bank account: they need a regular paycheck, every two weeks, month after month, year after year.

I can’t imagine what these people are thinking. Last week Paul Krugman wrote:

Somehow, Washington has lost any sense of what’s at stake — of the reality that we may well be falling into an economic abyss, and that if we do, it will be very hard to get out again.

It’s hard to exaggerate how much economic trouble we’re in. The crisis began with housing, but the implosion of the Bush-era housing bubble has set economic dominoes falling not just in the United States, but around the world.

Consumers, their wealth decimated and their optimism shattered by collapsing home prices and a sliding stock market, have cut back their spending and sharply increased their saving — a good thing in the long run, but a huge blow to the economy right now. Developers of commercial real estate, watching rents fall and financing costs soar, are slashing their investment plans. Businesses are canceling plans to expand capacity, since they aren’t selling enough to use the capacity they have. And exports, which were one of the U.S. economy’s few areas of strength over the past couple of years, are now plunging as the financial crisis hits our trading partners.

Meanwhile, our main line of defense against recessions — the Federal Reserve’s usual ability to support the economy by cutting interest rates — has already been overrun. The Fed has cut the rates it controls basically to zero, yet the economy is still in free fall.

Look, this is no little “slump,” this is a fucking disaster and I don’t think Bob Corker and Olympia Snow and the rest of them understand that.

Here’s my Sen. Bob Corker, repeating the GOP line on the Senate floor like the good Republibot he is:

Again, I appreciate those folks who are trying to work together to make this bill, which is a disaster in my opinion, slightly better. But, I wonder if it wouldn't make more sense for us as a country to just wait for a week or two to hear the rest of the administration's plans as it relates to solving this problem. I think for us to rush out and put forth $1 trillion in spending on top of a projected $1 trillion deficit without fully understanding the other issues that our country and the way that the administration plans to deal with these other issues is incredibly imprudent.

You want to wait? You want to do “more research”? Are you fucking nuts?

In January another 600,000 Americans were out of work. This is what happens when you “wait a week or two” to “study it some more.” People lose their jobs.

It’s hard to put a face on a number like that, but I’m thinking we’re going to have to. We’re going to have to hit the streets. We’re going to have to follow the example of the people of Iceland, banging pots and pans in protest until the government crumbled.

They are not listening to us. The did not listen to the November election. They are insulated and isolated. They think it’s okay to tell union workers how much they should earn, but they don’t want restrictions on what Wall Street bankers on the government dole should get. In short: they are not on our side.

This is crazy and I am very angry. People are hurting out there. The government has to step in and do something big to stop this train from running off the tracks or we’re going to have a second revolution in this country.

We need to take it to their doorstep. I'm ready to put my marching boots on. What about you?