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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/30/09

Whose "Day of Reckoning?"

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Here's a question to ponder this morning. It's one I've been pondering for some weeks now:

Is it worth your time and effort trying to engage in rational discussions with the increasingly nutty and frantic mouth-breathers on the political right? Or are were they all genetically wired at birth to become hybrids of Grandpa Simpson and Mr. Burns?

The only reason I mention this is that last night, as is my ritual, I settled in with the Wall Street Journal for my daily recon-mission into conservative “Neverland,” – a blame-free zone where the words, “Wow, we were sure wrong about that!”are never uttered.

I was doing fine, until I reached Neverland's dark heart, the WSJ Editorial Page – a  vortex of swirling nonsense where cocksure neo-cons rhetorically goose step in a tight clockwise circle – much like that roiling red spot of hot gas on Venus that roils madly but never seems to move or change.

In yesterdays editorial the editors were wringing their hands over all things Obama, in particular his budget and related economic rescue spending. Here's how they ended that piece:
"Mr. Obama is more popular than is policies, and sooner or later the twain shall meet. For now, we are living in another era of unchecked liberal government. The reckoning will come when Americans discover how much it costs.”
That's when I spit my evening brandy out of my nose. I mean, really?! The sheer chutzpah of it staggers the mind of anyone not on heavy doses of anti-psychotic drugs.

Where does a sane person, one with a functioning memory, even begin?

First, these are the same people  over at the WS Journal who supported the hyper-conservative GW Bush administration. You know, the guys who left us a world economy in near-depression, two unwon wars, and ice caps melting faster than Joe Lieberman and Arlen Specter can change their spots.

So, if as the WSJ editors warn Mr. Obama faces an inevitable day of “reckoning” over his spending, shouldn't they first “reckon” with the trillions of dollars in debt their friends in the Bush administration left taxpayers holding? Shouldn't they first ask, “how much did Bush's policies cost us?”

Well, let's see. If they can't or won't do it, we can. After all we have all the receipts, and we're still getting bills for stuff we didn't even know about until now. But we can make a start:

The first thing the WSJ's friends did when they got in office eight years ago was to eat through the nation's entire supply of seed corn, stored for them by those damn liberals, the Clinton administration. When Poppa Bush handed Bill Clinton the keys to the White House he also handed him a $290 billion deficit.

Eight years later, when Bill Clinton handed the keys to Sonny Bush he hande him a $231 billion budget surplus -- the greatest surplus in U.S. History.

Not only did those damn Clinton liberals manage a budget surplus but were at the same time able to pay down the national debt by a staggering 2.4 trillion.

Within two years the budget surpluses were gone, and the national debt was on it's way back up as the Bushies began borrowing again to make ends meet. By the time they left office they'd add another $5 trillion to the national debt.

Then, once the seed corn was gone, the Bushies started to borrow and spend and cut taxes too boot since, to quote Dick Cheney, “deficits don't matter.” Suddenly now, the WSJ editors and their  dwindling army of dittoheads are all atwitter over “Obama's mounting deficits.”

Then there's the cost of Bush-era deregulation. Those expenses all came due just as George W. Bush was hightailing it out of Dodge last January – just in the nick of time. The full cost of failing (or just plain refusing) to police corporate America, especially the financial services sector, has already cost us trillions of dollars, and the full cost may not be known for a decade. because all those chickens haven't come home to roost yet. But they're on their way.

Not to pile on but, then there's the cost of all the environmental degradation that occurred on their watch. Instead of addressing the mounting evidence they took a page from Big Tobacco's playbook, first using phony science  to deny global warming was even happening. Then, once it became impossible to deny it any longer, they changed their argument to “Sure, but there's no proof than human activities have anything to do with global warming.” It was an argument designed to preclude even trying to do anything about global warming, and it worked. (Unfortunately we can't sue them like we did Big Tobacco.)

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Stephen Pizzo has been published everywhere from The New York Times to Mother Jones magazine. His book, Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans, was nominated for a Pulitzer.

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