Saturday, February 07, 2009

GOP Still Doesn't Get It Or Give It

Patriotism and necessity aside, forging a bipartisan bill with Republicans this early in the Obama presidency was always going to be a tall order. It's a quite normal for the minority party in Washington to show its mettle, if puny in relation to Democrats, but the political gamesmanship on the part of the GOP only further displays their disconnect to the plight of Americans.

I have a friend who depends on a 40-hour work week and medical insurance to pay the rent and stay healthy. Last week, her employer slashed her hours and nixed her health coverage. Another was recently laid off to sit at home with her three children and wonder what the next few months has to offer. State workers in California received what amounts to a 10 percent pay cut to stay home from their jobs two days a month. That times are tough is no longer a throwaway catch phrase nowadays but reality. Things are getting worse. The numbers even show it and we feel it.

Democrats could have probably been pushed into a worse compromise than the one made yesterday with Senate Republicans, but the existence of more tax cuts is only a reminder that the GOP doesn't get it.

Why would Americans need $30 billion tax cuts to encourage the purchase of new homes and automobiles. Shockingly, new digs and a fully-loaded Buick is not high on the wish list when you are wondering about your next paycheck. Besides, would the tax credits offset the inability of regular Americans to receive a fair interest rate on a loan? It's not likely.

I think this point of c0ntinued economic inequity and political blindness on the part of the GOP is becoming more pervasive since the day President Obama announced an executive salary cap on firms who accept bailout funds. By shaming CEOs into accepting only $500k, he made the beleaguered Titans of finance look petty and greedy. How ridiculous did countless talking heads and lobbyists of executives seem when they pleaded across the board that such a low salary would make it difficult to attract "good talent". To which the country screamed, "Where was the good talent before we got into this mess?" I've never found the stuffed suits traipsing along every Financial District as nothing more than falsely stoked bubbles of testosterone and mythologized machismo. Really? Are these "banksters" nothing more than football coaches in fine tailored suits fitted with bluetooths instead of head phones?

At the very least, we must continue to veer away from principles and characters previously associated with this downturn in America's economy and morally specific predilection towards greed. This means straying away from Obama's main guys at the Treasury--Tim Geithner and Larry Summers--and economic recipes like tax cuts and laissez-faire government. Recovery is about stimulus. As the President said this week the stimulus is about spending and it needs to reach the state and local level for the mood of disheartened unemployed Americans rise hopeful again. In the meantime, the GOP continue to be nothing but an opposition party to Democrats and to the American people.

1 comment: said...

I do not understand why people are having diffculty understanding. The number of unemployed people (11.6 million) and the unemployment rate (7.6 percent) rose in January. Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 4.1 million. The Department of Labor reported today that nonfarm payroll employment fell sharply in January (-598,000) and the unemployment rate rose from 7.2 to 7.6 percent. Payroll employment has declined by 3.6 million since the start of the recession in December 2007, .... most of this mess happening only in past three months! And some wonder Obama is pushing so hard for a stimulus package. Is the Herbert Hoover approach, do nothing, all we need, leading us to a twelve year depression ??