I Have a Nightmare

Hoover's American Dream

Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  It’s a well-known quote to everyone except Republicans.  According to the New York Times, recent economic data indicating that the recovery is slowing has “emboldened” Republican legislators to demand even deeper cuts.

The economy isn’t recovering so what do Republicans want to do?  Sharpen their hatchets.  Cut spending, cut regulations, cut social programs and their favorite – cut taxes.  It’s the only thing they know how to do.   Oh, and blame it on the Democrats.

Thirty years on the Reagan Deregulation Express led to the banking and investment debacle that created the worldwide depression.  Yes, depression.  Open your eyes,  get your fingers out of your ears and stop singing la-la-la at the top of your lungs.  It’s not a recession – great or otherwise – it’s a depression.

Ten years of Republican tax cutting and Democratic enabling has not trickled down or created jobs.   Those tax cuts have gushed, not trickled, into the pockets of the wealthiest 1%.  While the rich are snapping up real estate bargains, the rest of us are planting vegetable gardens and selling our family heirlooms on E-Bay.

“Government doesn’t create jobs,” Speaker of the House John Boehner declares.  And he’s right. Government, under Republican leadership, destroys jobs. Thanks to Boehner and his know-nothing cohorts, 1.1 million government workers have lost their jobs.  And don’t fool yourself that they’re paper-pushing bureaucrats; they’re primarily teachers, firefighters and police officers.

Republicans live in a black and white world where private enterprise is always good – even when it’s Enron – and government is always bad – even when it’s improving the health, education and welfare of its citizens.  But Dubya and his MBA portfolio of tricks did not increase prosperity or improve American’s quality of life.

Under Dubya’s expert leadership,  intelligence on terrorist activities was ignored leading to 9/11, a subsequent recession and two bankrupting wars (that were supposed to be paid for with Iraq’s oil).  Deregulation and lax oversight led to the collapse of Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, an $85 billion bailout of AIG and a $900 billion bailout (TARP) of the nation’s biggest banks to prevent them from collapsing. (Who was it who said the easiest way to rob a bank is to own one?)  And don’t forget the depression.    In the last year of the Bush Administration, the economy lost 2.6 million jobs, 1.9 million in the last four months alone – the worst jobs loss in over sixty years.

Republicans say fewer regulations and lower taxes will give businesses – “job creators” – the confidence to hire.  This is patent nonsense.  Businesses hire for one reason only: increased demand.   But with over 13 million jobless, nearly as many underemployed in part-time jobs and everyone else afraid they’re going to lose their jobs, demand is and will remain weak.  Since 2009, the private sector has created only about 1 million jobs.

In 1928, Herbert Hoover (need I say he was a Republican?) promised that his austerity measures would lead to “A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.”  Instead, it led to “Hoovervilles, ”  shanty towns housing thousands of homeless.

Republicans are leading us down that same garden path again.   If we follow them, we might as well start printing the bumper stickers:

Don’t have a pot to piss in – Car’s been repossessed – What garage?

The American Dream is officially over.

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