Wednesday, September 24, 2003
( 11:50 AM )
Oh, I Get It Now!
An article in The Hill this morning (thanks to Atrios for the link) discusses a new bill (not really new, just a conglomeration of all the stagnated bills) offered by GOPers that supposedly will "create jobs." One of the ways they are planning to "create jobs" of course is by drilling in ANWR. But that's another post. There is another side to the argument though. No matter how much they posture about wanting to create jobs and help the economy, it may very well be that Bush and his cronies don't really care all that much either way. Even though it's an election year. Puzzled?
I was too, until I read our newly arrived October edition of The Progressive this morning on the bus. On recommendation of my husband, I turned first to the article by James Galbraith (it's not online yet). It's called "Why Bush LIKES a Bad Economy." The first couple of pages were a rehash of how truly stagnant our economy is and how really ugly the job market is going to continue to be. But then he started discussing that while Bush and his administration did not cause things like the dot.com bubble burst and stock decline, he has done nothing practical to help the economy, especially jobs. And then I hit gold:
It may be that the economic stagnation is to their taste.
They don't want a new recession, obviously, and they
look set to avoid that. But do they really want full
employment and strong labor unions and rising wages?
Probably not. The oil, mining, defense, media, and
pharmaceutical firms who form the core of their constituency
rely on monopoly power, patents, and the control of
public resources for their profits. They do not depend,
very much, on strong consumer demand.
[...] Stagnation, moreover, helps to justify more tax cuts.
... As things are going, quite soon, taxes will fall mainly
on real estate, payrolls, and consumption. This is to say
that taxes will be paid mostly by the middle class, by the
working class and by the poor. That is what the
Administration wants, and what - if not defeated - it
is exceedingly likely to get.
[...] Finally, stagnation and the Bush tax policy
promote rightwing plans to cut and privatize essential
services, including health, education, and pensions.
So the reason they appear cool as cucumbers with the election coming is because they are. They really don't care much about votes at this point - they have their constituency well in hand. Even to the point of loud and boisterous support from the head of Diebold, the company that has the contract to make all the new voting machines.
And the fix is in for whoever comes along next:
In the face of this reality, full economic recovery
is going to be hard, even if a Democrat wins the
next election. It cannot be done, certainly, by a
return to policies of the Clinton era. Nor can it
be done by stimulus alone - a simple matter of
spending more and finding the right taxes to cut.
We will need to rewrite - once again - the tax code.
We will need a revenue-sharing program to stabilize
the staes and cities. We will need to reestablish
the rule of law in the corporate world. We will need
to help labor reset minimum fair standards. We will
need a new energy and environmental strategy
consistent with geophysical realities and the dangers
of, among other things, climate change, and
including, as we just learned, a public initiative to
re-regulate power and rebuild the electricity grid....
If it's this bad already, what will another four years with them in power do to us? It's bad enough that the mainstream press refuses to report the truth about what this administration is doing. It's not likely to change anytime soon. I may sound like a banging drum sometimes, but this is why we need a campaign like this one to succeed this year. We have to prove that it can work to bring in a popularly elected president on the time and money of the citizens of this country, and not in the hands of corporate sponsors. If we fail to succeed at this extraordinary effort this year, I fear it will be a very, very, very long time until we can try again.