The “Great Recession” began in 2008 after two terms with a Republican in the White House and very opinionated Republicans all over Washington and the media (Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, et al). I am finding it mind-boggling to comprehend how the American people have become convinced that Republicans know how to economize and I can’t fathom why they should have been given control over the nation’s purse strings once again.
Republicans opened those strings (and I don’t care if they were in control of Congress or not because they questioned people’s patriotism and used fear to get that money) to finance an unnecessary and very expensive (with costs in both lives and dollars) war, and used the war to line their own pockets by choosing businesses in which they had a personal interest to funnel American dollars into private projects that supposedly supported a war effort launched on lies. No wonder Republicans are so paranoid as to imagine that Democrats lie about everything.
In addition these folks cut taxes and let the Democrats take power just as their poor economic decisions collapsed the American economy. All the excesses of the real estate “boom” and the bad actions of banks combined with the costs of the fake war and a real war in Afghanistan and the events of 9/11 and the flight of industry almost bankrupted America. And then the GOP found ways to blame this all on Democrats and many Americans believed them.
We made it through the empty factories but only because of the shenanigans in the real estate market. As foreclosure after foreclosure performed a dismal version of the wave all across American it looked like our economy would not be able to recover. Empty factories and empty houses do not say all is well in America.
Under President Obama we are recovering. Our economy is quietly stabilizing if not exactly prospering. But our economy is thin and vulnerable right now, as the Industrial Age has ended in the Western Hemisphere, and the Tech Age that has taken its place is not as robust a provider of prosperity for all. We are ready for the end of fossil fuels but have no viable alternative, only supplements so far. Without the next new thing, and given that we want to hold on to our comforts, we are in a big fat bind (unless we are in the top 1%).
Republicans seem to promise a return to the old industrial cash cow and to promise to keep the fossil fuels flowing. This is especially appealing in a time when no new innovations offer the steady predictable growth Americans are used to.
However, I know, in our hearts, we understand that even the mighty GOP cannot bring our factories back or keep sucking fossil fuels out of the earth forever. We hope we can maintain our current life styles until a new genius delivers us onto the shores of a new clean energy source. We had better be a lot more generous with all of our young people because one of them could be that new Einstein. (Let’s have free higher education for all who need it.)
In the meantime I hope we Americans do not continue to place our economy in the hands of the very people who ran it into the ground and then blamed it on anyone who is not a member of the Republican Party. It’s sort of like (and excuse my vulgarity) that elegant social game (not) of “Who Farted?” with the culprit walking away and making it seem as if any one of the innocent people in the vicinity is to blame. Really, how did the GOP pull this off? Hopefully someone will make a study of how the GOP fooled so many Americans and will deconstruct their propaganda menu. It would make a great topic for a dissertation. Maybe it’s still too soon to see all of their strategies.
Meanwhile, we need to take the purse strings out of the hands of the rapacious Republicans and hope that the rapacious Democrats will be able to exercise some control, perform a little magic, inject a little compassion into the dialogue and get serious about mucking out our bloated budget.
I dearly love post-apocalyptic literature and authors have been providing us with some great examples, but I hope they are not being prophetic in this case. I cannot believe people would vote to put the very people who devastated our economy back in charge of our money. The idea that the people in the GOP don’t see the value in preserving our fresh water (they want the Keystone Pipeline to cross a crucial aquifer in Nebraska) is enough for me to vote against them every time. I continue to be shocked that the middle class in America has not tipped to the Republican blame game.
By Nancy Brisson
<a href=https://plus.google.com/10640005355488737390?=author>Nancy Brisson</a>