Such a time as it was, way back then, when Republicans were wrong but strong and Democrats were right but slight.
Speaking as what might once have been called a "radical economist" for having accurately predicted this current, continuous-detonation, multi-faceted economic crisis long before it became obvious to the mainstream media and politicians, I can make the following, seemingly self-contradictory statement: although you Republicans are correct in opposing a massive stimulus package of the kind the Democrats are pushing, you are the very same Republicans who are entirely wrong in doing so.
Your victories--from the flaming rise of the 1994 "Republican Revolution" to the impeachment of a sitting President to eight years of unstoppable legislation, policies, and outcomes--have become the Pyhrric beacon to a future of your own irrelevance. Over the past eight years, the GOP burned any bridges to the land of credibility when it comes to fiscal responsibility. Your irresponsible, decade-long tax cuts of 2001 had nothing whatsoever to do with a claimed "recession" of that time. In fact, by technical measures, there was no recession in that year. In my article, "The Gospel of Impending Doom," I provide a table of all the recessions since 1920 and even go so far as to include the eight-month pause that happened in 2001 just to show that it was not, in fact, a recession. The claim otherwise was nothing but an excuse.
Ah, but the Republicans sold that economic situation at the beginning of the new century as a crisis that demanded immediate, drastic, massive tax cuts, this despite the transparently obvious gambit, which was to have yet one more chance to cut taxes to the fantasized end not of "making government smaller," but instead of making big government serve the GOP's base in bloated business interests, wealthy voters, and reliable contributors.
In the process, you caused federal tax revenues to plunge beneath expenditures, never again to return to the territory of federal budget surpluses that served as the hallmark of the last years of the Clinton Administration. I provide a lovely graphical presentation of this wildly malfeasant, destructive nose-dive into federal budget red ink in Part 4 of my series, "The Economics of Wreckage," which stands to this day and ever after as but one piece of my record of correctly predicting what was to come of the GOP's incomprehensibly bad economic policies.
Far more important, though, than being on record over and over again declaring, in sometimes excruciating detail, that it was coming, I also showed exactly why. I used the very same principles I teach in my introductory college course sequence in economics. In fact, a student cannot pass my second course, principles of macroeconomics, in the sequence without understanding this material with facility.
To the eternal benefit of all you Republican politicians who got your fancy law degrees and thereby avoided being flunked by me, the unyielding logic of economics was irrelevant: a minor pause in economic growth in 2001 was all the long-ago radicalized Republicans needed to bawl "Tax cuts!" and "Tax relief!" and other such pandering nonsense that gives evidence far less of a desire to allow citizens to keep more of what they earn and far more of a political philosophy bent on damaging the ability of the government to be anything other than a fist of laws and their enforcement against the populace and a hammer of power and its projection across the globe.
Consequences be damned: strip the government's revenue-generating ability down to the point where all but the iron core of state authority over its citizens must be defunded. This was what President Ronald Reagan's people tried to do, and their protestations to the contrary were swept away when the Gipper's own budget director, David Stockman, glibly told the truth in a press interview about the real motive behind the deep tax cuts of the early 1980s.
What manner of public servant militates against the poor, the needy, and the oppressed as "welfare queens"--in the terms of Reagan-era hate-mongers--on the one hand, yet transforms into the very epitome of "welfare queens" our military, our domestic law enforcement community, and the opportunistic feeders at the trough of those twins of state-imposed violence?
Your late-20th Century battle cry to "end welfare as we know it" (a call echoed in accommodative policy of the Clinton Administration), now rings hollow as you have made searing swaths of dependency upon an unceasing engine of public treasure. Concomitantly, towns and cities across America for years, now, have fought tooth and nail to be the sites of one prison-building spree after another as we uncontrollably ramp up the incarceration of our own citizens beyond rates found anywhere else in the world; and as if that in itself were not venal enough, you callously used the horror of September 11, 2001, to dole out more welfare to the nation's law enforcement community and industries of domestic spying, surveillance, and intimidation by the ever-watchful eye of those with nothing better to do than anticipate every citizen a criminal waiting to break a law.
We now suffer the paramilitarization of law enforcement not just at the federal level; even the most unlikely of regulatory agencies at the state level have found ways to feed at the hog trough of terror money for the welfare queens of the new America: cases in point can be found in several state-level Departments of Agriculture, which now commit everyday outrages against what they openly call "eco-terrorists," which include organic foods cooperatives and even the Amish. Terrorists are everywhere, and as long as more classes of terrorists can be invented, more money can be siphoned from the depleted vault of public funds. It is as if you learned at the knee of the pharmaceutical industry that creating one new disease or condition after another guarantees the unquestioning need of the consumerism-addled public for one more therapeutic regimen of drugs and doctor visits after another. It is marketing gone to the extreme of the destruction of the individual as free and unfearful.
My God, Republicans, look at what you have loosed upon this nation with your fear mongering. Do you truly think you still the madness in the hearts of real terrorists with what you have done to this nation? Do you think what you have done has anything whatsoever to do with respect for the rights and dignity of the individual, with respect for the law, with the fundamental principle of the sanctity of property rights that is, or at least should be, the unwavering, parsimonious core of conservatism?
You do not like Barack Hussein Obama?
Well, here's some news: You created him.
You meticulously, unerringly, methodically created the ascendant man whose color scares you, whose background troubles you, whose success infuriates you, and whose sometimes-liberal rhetoric whips you into bouts of racist jingles alternating with the petulant obstructionism of spoiled brats.
You have no moral foundation upon which to condemn this sad, neo-socialist era to which you, yourselves, have flogged us.
Tax cuts; then more tax cuts.
Threats of terrorism; then more threats of terrorism.
War; then more war.
Laws; then more laws.
Budget deficits; then more budget deficits.
This is the same harangue that has been coming from the Republican Party for decades. It is the harangue that the last great Republican President, Dwight Eisenhower, slapped down and openly decried in his final State of the Union speech.
We now have a real recession. It is nothing like the faint economic pause that heralded the beginning of the 21st Century; and the catastrophe of crisis happening here and now makes even the events of September 11, 2001, pale by comparison in terms of asset value lost, lives ruined, and prospects for the future forever altered.
The GOP has humiliated itself with its battle cry of "less government" at the sunset of a 14-year "Republican Revolution" that ended in this degraded place in history from which we must now rise. Fourteen years is no 'revolution'; it is not even a blip on the radar screen of history, yet its consequences in wholesale conflagration are without parallel in the American experience. The very financial infrastructure of the world is imperiled, and once-proud companies from one industry to the next now grovel for salvation from a government they should rightly resist in the necessary ebb-and-flow of the excesses of free markets and those of public regulation.
Any revolution that ends in the very kind of government so opposed by the rabble-rousers is most certainly, unquestionably a revolution that has utterly failed, and this is exactly what has come of modern Republicanism and its win-at-all-costs, blindly-follow-the-leader mentality of pandering to ignorance, mean-spiritedness, racism, ethno-centricism, anti-intellectualism, and cruelty.
Republican Senator Mitch McConnell laid it out in no uncertain terms: the GOP runs the risk of becoming a "regional," "minority" political party. This same Senate Republican leader went so far as to describe former President George W. Bush as a "political burden that we carried..."
Well, carry it, you must: you wanted it; you own it.
No, we do not need to spend more money we simply do not have, and we certainly do not need to borrow that money from the likes of foreign central banks like that of China, a nation that in no small way deeply damaged our economy with its decade-and-a-half scheme of undervaluing its currency to accumulate the very greenbacks we now beg it to lend to us.
No, we do not need to spend a trillion more dollars: that obsession with spending now at the grave detriment of the future is precisely what has already brought us to a bad future for which we were ill-prepared, thanks in large part to the Republican Party, which now feigns moral superiority upon the pedestal of its disgraceful end.
I can speak to all that is wrong with the Democratic agenda, replete as it is with air-headed liberals and their vapid "solutions"; but now I have something far worse than the occasional, venom-spitting Leftist shrieking at me about how "economics is dead," about how I am some kind of racist for speaking against Obama, or about how I am this or that undesirable cretin of latent Right-wing sentiments.
My worst problem now is you Republicans: you swirling gaggle of disgraced, naked clowns still dancing on the stage while adults try to speak; you crowing blast of hot air gusts still trying to fan the flames of hate you once used to scorch the land of tolerance; you craven, culled pack of eviscerated hyenae nipping at heels of people far larger than you can ever again be.
Just look at those who speak for you.
Rush Limbaugh: a convicted drug user whose years of vicious rhetoric have now distilled to openly declaring hope that "Obama fails." What American of any breeding, of any use for his nation, of any decency whatsoever actually talks of hoping for the continuation of catastrophically ruinous times?
Michelle Malkin: a woman who can become so engulfed in her own rages of hate against anyone less of an extremist than she that she attacks decorated combat veterans like John Kerry and Jack Murtha, and then she repeats lies about them (as in her claim that Kerry's fellow military crew said he shot himself), just like an incorrigible adolescent who becomes even more enraged in her insistence that her lies are true as the evidence mounts in her face that she has once again been caught lying. What kind of person is it who would be that way, and what kind of people do not repudiate her and her family for declining to get help for her? Or is it that Republicans were so jealous of Vietnam-era hippies that they had to invent their own version of Jane Fonda to give cowards the mojo to spit on veterans?
Ann Coulter: a hate-filled actress whose much-alleged transgenderism she uses to sexually arouse the disgusting, almost latent perversions of young and old men, alike, exactly the way the twin motifs of "travesty" and "burlesque" have been used from the Old Comedy of Ancient Greece on through to the boys dressing as girls to titillate repressed men in the audience at plays in the time of Shakespeare. I have watched the boy-men at College Republican gatherings where Coulter was speaking: their smirks and repressed sexual near-violence as they drool over her is utterly nauseating; and yet you Republicans let her prance and toss her hair as she spews her hate about everything from widows of 9/11 victims to the homosexuality of Democratic candidates.
And finally, just to drive the point home, Newt Gingrich, the man who now sits as the elder greybeard of "conservatism": a man whose history of personal and professional viciousness is so wretched that conservative author John Dean, in his book Conservatives without Conscience, gives page after page to the details of the appalling waste the man laid to people, including a cancer-stricken former wife, on his way up.
How dare you pretend you have some better connection to all that is godly and wholesome when you associate with traitors, the deranged, harping sex queens, and vile trash?
I swear, with what you Republicans have done to conservatism, if it weren't for Leftist half-wits like Naomi Klein, pompous phonies like David Sirota, and Nobel Prize-winning disgraces like that opportunist Al Gore and that free-trade charlatan Paul Krugman, I would almost be unable shake my head in disgust when I hear the name "John Kenneth Galbraith" being stirred from its much-deserved grave these days.
American politics has become nothing but a cheap doughnut: sugar-coated fat with no center. President Obama, himself, has assembled a team I have decried as Right-wing, incapable of escaping the clutches of foreign interests, enamored of authoritarianism in administrative appointments, and generally less than the very best this nation could bring to bear on the problems we face.
Barack Hussein Obama is, however, the President. For better or worse in the short run, it is his grave responsibility to fix what you Republicans have so thoroughly and magnificently broken. His solutions--which might have worked quite well had tax cuts, accommodative monetary policy, and massive government spending during the Bush years not been wasted in times when they were not needed--will cause further long-term harm; but at the very least, the man is putting his country and its people, not his political party and its gruesomely flawed apologists, first.
America will rise from this disaster caused by the shameful failure of the Republican Revolution and its howlingly incompetent leader, George W. Bush. We shall rise not by this or that grand program of liberal dreams of socialism gone wild, but rather by the power of our people to stand up, step up, and stride forward from adversity to opportunity. This they have done time and time again throughout our history, and I have no doubt they will do it this time, too, with or without the tedium of Democrats trying to do something of substance instead of that nothing of relevance to which you Republicans have now been relegated by the judgment of history, which --just like the laws of economics--cannot forever be held at bay.
"Hope" for the future has nothing to do with it: tomorrow will arrive. For the Republican Party, that tomorrow--and many tomorrows thereafter--will be another day with a scrawny Black man from Chicago owning the agenda.
Welcome to Hell, Republicans. You earned it.