Burnard: Ignorant ideologuesWritten by Don Burnard | | email@example.com
Well, the things that reputable economists and business leaders like Warren Buffett warned us would happen are happening. The GOP is in full backpedaling mode, trying to blame it on the Democrats and Barack Obama, but rest assured, this is its mess.
By listening to the ignorant ideologues from the Tea Party, the GOP leadership and conservative Democrats, and to a large extent Obama, caved in. They went against the conventional wisdom and conspired to possibly throw us and the entire global economy into double-dip recession if not a full-blown depression. And now they would like you to believe that it is all Obama’s fault. John Boehner went on TV and gloated that he got 98 percent of what he wanted out of the debt deal. He seemed pretty proud of himself as he smugly said it. Unfortunately, neither of the world’s financial markets nor the Standard & Poor’s ratings agency seemed nearly as impressed.
The incredibly irresponsible stand that raising taxes, even though they are the lowest in 60 years, would not even be considered was reported by ABC News as one of the reasons Standard & Poor’s felt it necessary to downgrade the U.S. credit rating. Something like 95 percent of Republican legislators have signed Grover Norquist’s “no tax hikes under any circumstances” pledge, regardless of who gets hurt. I’m pretty sure that when these legislators were sworn in they swore they would uphold the Constitution and the interests of the United States, not Norquist’s. Perhaps if they were tried for treason or sedition for putting private citizens’ interests ahead of the public’s interest they would catch on. These so-called legislators obviously came in with an agenda that didn’t include governing. It was more important to try to discredit Obama and look out for the top 10 percent at the cost of the remaining 90 percernt of the population’s well-being.
We also have the Tea Party contingent which by and large doesn’t believe in science, math or government, period. They believe in the propaganda that the Big Money “astroturf organizations,” run by the likes of the Koch Brothers, Dick Armey, Rupert Murdoch and Norquist, peddle to protect their fortunes and interests. You can mix in the decidedly unChristian Christian Right, and we have a mix that has left us in a world of hurt with no end in sight and a country unable to govern itself.
Outside of government, we have the “job creators,” as the GOP likes to refer to millionaires and billionaires, who never seems to get around to actually creating jobs, even though it has made money hand over fist since it was bailed out by us, the taxpayers.
The most important thing is that we don’t take away tax breaks for their jets and yachts. We need to deeply cut all the services provided for the public, like education, police, fire, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to see if they will do their fair share and do something to create the jobs they are vaunted for in certain circles. Fat chance.
The real job creators are not the millionaires and billionaires, but the myriad small businesses that have been so hard-hit and ill-served by the current fiscal situation. The banksters we bailed out have tightened money access and are sitting on trillions of dollars, using it instead to buy and sell all or part of each other to strengthen their earnings at our expense. Multitudes of small businesses have gone out of business and laid off millions of workers because the only way they can stay in business is to have a demand for their goods or services, and that was lost with crippled consumer confidence. It’s a vicious circle, like the snake eating its tail, and the only ones coming out ahead are at the top. The middle class will soon be a thing of the past unless we wake up!
The conventional wisdom of the past can become the conventional wisdom of the future. We caught this act before in the ’20s and ’30s and got through it by addressing the root causes of the problems through competent regulations and programs that worked. That is what built the middle class in this country to begin with, and we can do it again. But the first step is to stop listening to the well-financed voices that continually try and often succeed to get us to vote against our interests and for their interests at our expense. And above all, we need to stop listening to the voices of ignorance the media seems so taken with these days. It doesn’t become us, but it might if we’re not careful.
Email Don Burnard at firstname.lastname@example.org.