Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Calendar says 2010, but GOP already thinking about 2012

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You can learn something about people by the way they purchase calendars. Some will buy theirs around September because they want the full 16 months. Others wait until January 15 of that year to buy calendars at half off.

Most people are buying their 2011 calendars at this late point in 2010. But don’t be surprised if you ended up getting confused more than usual about what year it is, especially if you watch political news on TV.

For Republicans, it’s 2012, even if the calendar says 2010.

Unemployed or underemployed in 2010 or 2011? Not the Republicans’ concern. Losing business because not enough people have enough money to spend on your products. Doesn’t fall within the GOP radar. Everything for them is about 2012, the White House, and Barack Obama.

Now you might be thinking: “that is a bit harsh.” How can the GOP govern if they don’t address the biggest issue of the day. How could they expect to retain the House or take over the Senate and the White House unless they work on the economy?

We can sum this up in the words of the newest senator, Mark Kirk (R-IL) — who has taken over for Roland Burris (D-IL), appointed to finish out Barack Obama’s Senate seat. Kirk says we can’t afford unemployment benefits, but we have to keep the Bush tax cuts.

Republicans have complained for the last two years that they don’t have a problem with unemployment benefits, they just want the benefits to be paid for. Now that they will control how things are paid for in the House, let’s see if they still care.

But the Republicans — and the straw that stirs their drink, the MSM — aren’t talking about jobs. That’s right. The biggest issue of the day, and the two main power structures in Washington aren’t even talking about it.

No, the story is about the deficit. We got to bring down the deficit, so the mantra goes. In recent American history, there are two times where the Republican Party has cared about the deficit: 1994 and 2010. Both times, a Democratic president had been in office for two years with a Democratic-controlled Congress.

Republicans don’t object to spending, as we saw from 1995-2007: they object to DEMOCRATIC spending on Democratic goals. And one of those goals in the last two years has been to help the American people who have lost their jobs.

Want extra unemployment insurance? Done. Want a 65% break on your COBRA payments? You got it. Need a stimulus package to boost spending, especially to state governments? Sounds great.

Want those things in the next two years since our official and unofficial unemployment rates are through the sky? Not going to happen.

Bringing down the deficit is a good idea, but the timing is bad and the focus is distorted.

For those still alive who went through the Great Depression of the 1930s, there was no blueprint as to fixing things. Nothing quite like that had happened before, certainly not in the United States. When the 2008 crash occurred, we had a chance to see what history had done back in the 20s and 30s. Yet, we haven’t taken advantage.

The stimulus should have been larger, and without the tax cuts. We should have had more work programs for people to earn their way. We should have taken a longer perspective on home ownership, knowing that some of the value will come back, given time. We should have thought even more about rebuilding infrastructure.

But now, none of those things will happen because the Republicans aren’t out to save jobs in the next two years, unless it’s their own jobs.

For the GOP, 2011 and most of 2012 doesn’t exist. Their calendars don’t even have those pages. Their goal is to defeat Barack Obama in 2012. Politically, that is understandable, but their methods to get there — their plan is to ignore the millions who are unemployed and the millions affected by those who are unemployed.

Throughout the campaign, they never offered one solution to help those who need jobs. They keep saying “lower taxes.” When David Stockman thinks you’re wrong on this issue, imagine how hard it is for him to say that. Taxes are already relatively low as they are, and our economy is in shambles. And when secretaries of hedge fund planners pay a higher percentage of taxes than their bosses, the tax structure needs to be reexamined.

There is no plan to help those who are unemployed or underemployed. The Democratic plan of the last two years was pretty weak, but in comparing the next two years, the Dem plan will seem more like the Incredible Hulk than Bruce Banner.

Is there any hope of getting the GOP to see that 2011 exists, and that the unemployed need help? Not really. The GOP doesn’t respond well to external pressure. And the MSM has already been sucked in to the narrative of reducing the deficit. Sure people who are in desperate shape will lose their unemployment benefits. Perhaps the GOP will eventually save them once they control the purse strings.

In 2011, the Democrats will tell you it’s 1935 and the Republicans will tell you it’s 1995. Those searching for help — staring at their 2010 calendars that they are reusing but just adjusting one day ahead — will sigh and hope that 2013 will come soon enough, and that they will make it to 2013.

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Written by democracysoup

December 3, 2010 at 7:39 am

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