So this is how it’s going to be. The Know-Nothing Crackpot Guido Party is going to extort budget cuts in exchange for their votes on any significant issue that comes before Congress. Next showdown: raising the debt ceiling.
Every sane economist on the face of the planet agrees that NOT raising the debt ceiling could be catastrophic. The threat of defaulting on our sovereign debt would cause interest rates to spike and slam the door on a feeble economic recovery that has yet to make a significant dent in the unemployment rate.
13.5 million people are still out of work, losing their homes and their life savings. Yet Republicans are willing to play a dangerous game of chicken in order to perpetuate the myth that they are fiscally prudent and responsible.
They say that raising taxes on people earning more than $250,000 per year will hurt job creation because “half of those people are small business owners.”
Only 3% of small business owners earn more than $250,000, moreover, a large proportion of that 3% are independent agents like professional actors, athletes and high-paid consultants who are not creating jobs. But the Know-Nothing Party keeps saying these things to make us believe they’re pro-business. They aren’t – unless you’re a BIG business, which, coincidentally, makes lots of campaign contributions.
The current Republican Congress tried to cut community development financial institutions – the local non-profit organizations who make loans to small businesses that can’t get bank loans – by 80%. Those same small businesses that are creating virtually all the net new jobs and, coincidentally, AREN’T making lots of campaign contributions.
Does our debt need to be reduced? Eventually, yes. But not tomorrow. Give the Main Street Economy, not just Wall Street, a chance to recover.
Historically – after World War II for example – debt was paid down through a combination of economic growth and higher taxes. Republicans refuse to raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires and want to bankrupt middle- and low-income Americans by decimating Medicare, Social Security and any other social program, including Pell grants for college students, that might actually help average people prosper.
Their policies will lead only to more income inequality and greater misery. They’re playing a dangerous game. Be prepared to be roadkill.