I turned on my TV set after coming home from my factory job four days ago, and I tuned into MSNBC. Toward the end of The Ed Show, I heard something that really made me feel happy about a day that, for the most part, had otherwise left a lot to be desired.
Here's what I heard:
"Unfortunately our Republican colleagues in the House and Senate are driven by putting one man out of work- President Obama."
And I also heard this:
"Do Republicans really oppose a tax cut for businesses that created jobs? This is sort of beyond the pale. If they oppose even something so suited to their tastes ideologically, it shows that they're just opposing anything that helps create jobs. It also makes you wonder if they aren't trying to slow down the economic recovery for political gain."
That first quote is from US Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), and the second one is from US Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and their responses came at a Capitol Hill news conference the day after Republican senators blocked an economic development bill the GOP used to like.
It's about time the Democrats took the gloves off!
Matter of fact, I don't wonder if the Elephants are trying to slow down America's economic recovery so that they'll get enough sympathy to insure that they'll get 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue back next time this country has a presidential election.
I'm more than convinced that the Republicans are out to sabotage the nation's economy.
We've been constantly told that since the 1940 presidential election, no incumbent commander-in-chief has been able to get reelected with the country's unemployment rate at 8% or higher.
With that in mind, officially-declared 2012 GOP candidates (you know, former governors Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty, ex-House Speaker Newton Gingrich, current US Reps. Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul, one-time US Sen. Rick Santorum, and business executive Herman Cain) are really licking their chops; just tasting the opportunity to give history's next US presidential inaugural address.
It won't be a sweet taste, I'll tell you that.
All Barack Obama wanted to do was install a new temporary payroll tax cut- something to bring more jobs to the United States. This was an idea the Elephants liked in the past...but now, all at once, it's not such a great idea to them.
The Republicans would rather have permanent tax cuts.
And this isn't the only about-face the Republicans have pulled since 1-20-2009. What's more, John Boehner's and Mitch McConnell's party used to dig the Economic Development Agency (it gives grants to local projects). Now the party's opposed to even reauthorizing the agency!
Schumer talked about how the GOP doesn't want infrastructure investment. (Never mind that one of the party's leading cheerleader groups- the US Chamber of Commerce- wants this investment to take place.)
Durbin, the Donkeys' Senate whip, really nailed it when he said: "They want to play political games at the expense of getting this economy back on its feet. They believe a weak economy is their best chance of winning the next election."
Needless to say, McConnell (the Senate Republican leader) and Boehner (in the gig Gingrich used to have) didn't utter a word in response to Durbin's and Schumer's charges. Not immediately.
And it's all happening at a time when Joe Biden and a bipartisan (that's right, bipartisan) group of lawmakers are trying to hammer out a deal to cut America's deficit and raise this country's debt limit. (They've got until 8-2-2011; if no deal is finalized, the United States of America joins Greece- a country plenty of our Republican officials have laughed at these last two years- in the Default Zone.)
Keep in mind that the Republicans' policies and attitudes did the lion's share of the work in bringing about this current economic crisis. For starters, the debt nearly doubled during the George Walker Bush years, reaching $6.3 trillion in public debt (and $10.6 trillion in total outstanding debt) when Bush the Younger relinquished his job to Obama on 1-20-2009.
And yes, yes, YES; right now, the total outstanding debt is $14.34 trillion (with private investors holding $8.3 trillion of that entire US debt; that's a figure that dwarfs China's chunk- a comparatively measly $1.15 tril). Public debt accounts for $9.7 tril of that $14.34 trillion figure.
No, no, NO; I'm not making any of this stuff up. I went to http://www.factcheck.org/ and got these figures.
Think about what's going to happen if the Bush family's colleagues fully get their way- okay, think about what's going to take place if, at the very least, the debt ceiling isn't raised.
Failure to hike the debt ceiling will affect EVERYONE'S wallets and purses.
Now...think back to the 1-20-2001 to 1-20-2009 period if you're an American. Did you lose a job (or more than one job) during that span of time? If you ended up getting back on this country's workforce during that period, did your next job pay less than the one that was pulled out from under you? If you were jobless, how long were you unemployed?
Finally, think about this: If you're in a low-to-middle-income household and you're thinking about voting next year for whoever replaces John McCain as the GOP standard bearer, what's going to be in it for you financially...especially when you consider that, for all the Republicans' talk about how we should cut spending, they refer only to slashing domestic spending (and won't touch defense spending)?
Ever thought about what you can do with that $8,000-$15,000 voucher Paul Ryan wants to give you to replace that Medicare payment?
I still think about that "trickle up" chart Ed Schultz likes to show on his MSNBC series. In it, the wealthiest Americans saw their earnings zoom roughly 240% from 1979 to 2009...while wages and salaries for the rest of this country's population basically flatlined during the period, as did production.
Ed keeps daring GOP figures to come on his program to defend such a state of events and to tell him and The Ed Show's viewers how this massive income disparity's so great for America.
In fact, I found a real message when reading http://evilblackeconomist.blogspot.com/ when researching the Republicans-sabotaging-the-American-economy issue. He said it right: "It is very painful to watch this play out as they (Republicans) attempt to make a point. The costs are way too high for such selfishness."
They certainly are...and I hope the Democrats keep bringing this message home.
(By the way, I also researched Greg Sargent's Washington Post blog and Michael McAuliff's column at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ to get information for this post.)