Class Warfare Blog

October 19, 2011

They Tried What They Claim Works . . . and It Didn’t

Filed under: Politics — Steve Ruis @ 11:34 am
Tags: , , ,

I remember when George W. Bush was sworn in as president in the year 2001. One of the first actions of his administration was to curtail water standards. Apparently there was a need for more arsenic in our water, not less. I mention this because the entire eight years of the Bush administration can be characterized as a period of reduced regulations, tax cuts, and wars. The reason this is pertinent is that the Republican’s claim that the only thing the federal government can do to relieve the economic malaise we currently suffer from is to a) reduce government regulation and b) cut taxes.

If you were keeping score, the reductions in regulation and the loosening of regulation enforcement under the Bush administration bought us the largest oil spill in history, coal mine disasters, as well as extra arsenic in our drinking water as a chaser. The tax cuts bought us budget deficits where there had been surpluses. And the costs of the wars, that amazingly didn’t appear on a single budget submitted to Congress, were kept “off of the books” and were not considered part of the deficits. (Apparently it is not just tax cuts that don’t need to be paid for in their economic system.)

So, during George Bush’s administration, the tycoons and the lobbyists were writing the regulations, tax cuts didn’t need to be paid for and wars don’t cost a thing. But they still insist that the economy, the one that they wrecked, can only be helped by a double dose of what George Bush stood for.

WTF?

They tried all of those things during the Bush years and they didn’t work. In fact they contributed to the economic disaster we are now in.

And the Republicans campaigned like crazy during the midterm elections on “Jobs, jobs, jobs.” Since then there hasn’t been a serious piece of legislation that would have any positive impact on the economy since the Republicans claimed leadership of the House of Representatives.

Apparently they want to wait until 2013 when, they hope, a Republican will be sworn into the Oval Office and they can get back to . . . reducing government regulation, cutting taxes, and gutting the federal government which is their real aim. Emasculated government can’t do a damned thing to help ordinary Americans and that is exactly what the Republicans want.

Strong government, which helped to create the strongest middle class in the history of this country, is anathema to the Republican’s business masters. The Republicans want nothing to stand in the way of their masters making as money as they can; and if the rest of us all have to drink arsenic, it is a small price to pay.

Our founding fathers, who Republicans often glorify, were in favor of a strong central government, but one that could be adapted in the future to meet future needs unknown to them. Unfortunately the future the Republicans want is one with a paralyzed federal government, starved into a feeble state, and we are currently helpless to stop them.

And . . . if hear the big lie that “our Founding Fathers were in favor of small government” one more time I am going to scream! The constitutional convention had no charge to create an entirely new constitution for the country. The members were supposed to “suggest” modifications to the Articles of Confederation that would require unanimous votes from all of the states to be adopted. (In essence, every state had a veto.) Instead, they took it upon themselves to draft their own charge, write an entirely new constitution with a very strong central (federal) government, including a clause that Congress could pass essentially any legislation they needed to fulfill their mission. They also drafted and enforced an adoption procedure that required less than unanimity for adoption.

These were not the actions of “small government” men. They had small government at the federal level and they scrapped it because it was impotent.

Unfortunately in that most perfect document they created a Senate to balance the potential tyranny of the majority that the House of Representatives represents. By giving big states and small the same number of votes, and the Senate equal power with the House, they defended the rights of minorities. But they also let the Senate make their own rules and the Senate adopted the cloture rule (filibuster) that allows a superminority of the states (currently 41 of the 100) to block any action the Senate might consider. This is the tool Republicans are using to block anything getting done, so nothing is being done. And people are getting angry with government, which is what the Republicans want.

We should be angry only with the obstructionists, not with the entire fabric of our government.

Get even! Fight back! Throw the obstructionists out.

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