Thursday, February 12, 2009

Stop Pouting: A message to Republicans

Closet blogger friend/smarty pants Harvard guy Bob sent out the following well-researched, most excellent essay this morning. Kudos to him for clarifying Rush's misconceptions. He writes:

Stop Pouting

Although a final House/Senate has not been finalized, both Houses have agreed to some form of a stimulus bill. For six years, Republicans controlled the House, the Senate, and the White House. During that time, they squandered the largest budget surplus in American history and swiftly converted it into the largest deficit in American history. They gave us the worst economic times since the Great Depression.

The Republicans’ AM radio spokesperson, drug addict Rush Limbaugh, has stated that he hopes that Obama fails as President. He and Republicans predict that the stimulus bill will fail because the New Deal did not solve the Great Depression—World War II solved it. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate was 25% in 1933 when the New Deal was introduced but by 1937 the New Deal brought it down to 14.3%. Due to pressure from the opposition party, some of the New Deal programs were modified. As a result, unemployment swiftly rose to 19% in 1938 and we entered a new recession. Corrective actions were taken and by 1941 the unemployment rate was down to 9.9%. The numbers quoted by I-get-a-Rush-from-drugs-Limbaugh and Fox News are false. Moreover, WW II was the largest government employment plan in our history and the Depression was solved by government stimulus programs.

The Republicans’ only idea is to reduce taxes. In 2002, a tax rebate was issued. Many economists agreed that a fast infusion of cash would spark the economy. Based on economic theory and free market history, it was a good plan. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. In spite of that experience, they reduced taxes—but mostly for the wealthy. It didn’t work. They tried it again in early 2008—it didn’t work! Why do they think what failed three times will suddenly work this time? It won’t, and their insistence verifies that they have no new ideas and all they can do is complain about FDR. They are mad that they lost the White House and both chambers, so they are pouting. Well, they lost for good reasons.

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