The Hot Corner: Crocodile tearsWritten by Don Burnard | | email@example.com
The Republicans and their Tea Party front groups, like the Children of Lividity or whatever they call themselves, continue to flaunt their hypocrisy on a daily basis. They cry huge crocodile tears about what the Democrats and the Obama administration have done to the deficit in this country and try to scare the public into thinking that any help we give the millions who are out of work — or health care we provide for anyone who isn’t a banker, oilman or worth millions — will crash the economy forever. We must return control of our country to them to save us all. Huh?
Let’s stop and take a look at where we are and how we really got here. At the end of the Clinton administration, we were running a $236 billion surplus and the general consensus was that we could expect to run surpluses for the next 10 years at least. This represented the largest surplus in history. This was where the country was when the Bush administration took office in January 2001. By 2002, Bush and the Republican controlled Congress had managed to plunge us into a $160 billion deficit, a net swing of $396 billion in one year. This too, was a record, unfortunately. The Republicans presided over the greatest increase in the national debt in our nation’s history. When Obama took office, Clinton’s that surplus had blossomed into a $1.3 trillion deficit.
W. took office with the public debt standing at $5.7 trillion. By the time he left, the public debt had nearly doubled to $10.6 trillion, which represents approximately $35,000 for every man, woman and child in this country. Job growth and the economy stagnated and then contracted and all the while the Republicans spent money like drunken sailors and had no concern whatsoever that deficit spending might be a bad thing.
On top of all this, we have the general corruption, disregard for the law and a disregard for anything that even smacked of regulatory control over anything, that came to define the Bush reign. A disdain for anything governmental was the order of the day. The magic of the marketplace was what would decide what was good for everyone. If it happened to be better for the elite, well that’s just the way of things in the New Global Economy.
These practices inevitably led to the biggest crash since the Great Depression. As soon as it became apparent what was happening,
the Bush administration swung directly into “Leave No Banker Behind mode”, bailing out the banks at the taxpayer’s expense and leaving the taxpayers themselves to flounder in the mess they left behind. This should hardly be surprising. Directly after Sept. 11, the first order of business was to bail out the airlines before worrying about the real victims, and later the first responders who did the real work, once again cleaning up what the government couldn’t be bothered with.
We had a couple countries to attack, one for no apparent reason, and the other with no apparent plan. And the hits just kept on coming until the entire house of cards came tumbling down, threatening the entire global economy.
Into this mess stepped Barack Obama. Not since Hercules had to clean out the Augean stables had such a mess been tackled. What did the Republican leaders do to help out with all this mess? They immediately decided to block any and all initiatives coming from the Democrats and the administration as a policy. This even included initiatives that they had co-sponsored in some cases. They started a program of lies and obfuscation to try to basically bring down the ability to effectively govern or solve any problems. And they found their voices as the newly minted party of fiscal responsibility! What a load of crap. Lately, I’m reminded of an old saying from the 1960s. “If you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem.”
The Republican Party is a large part of the problem, along with the gutless Democrats who are too beholden to special interests to do what’s right, and the Constitutional crybabies who think that our only problems could be solved if only everyone could interpret the Constitution as well as they can.
E-mail columnist Don Burnard at firstname.lastname@example.org.