By now, most of you are familiar with the fact that Republicans in Congress blocked all jobs legislation over the last two years because it would help the economy when a Democrat was President. If not, you can read my coverage as the 19th jobs bill was blocked. Or, you can view videos and see the process Republicans used to sabotage the Obama presidency by keeping Americans struggling just long enough that Republicans could gain power.
The calculation is simple. If they want to deny Obama a second term and the economy is the main issue, then if they make sure nothing passes that economists say will create millions of jobs then they can have their power grab.
Now, someone is probably going to say, "Well they disagreed with the policy." While that might be so, Republicans didn't vote against the policy. Republicans filibustered debate. They would not allow conversation on the floor of Congress on jobs measures for the last two years. It would be very difficult for them to have speeches on the floor of Congress explaining why they don't want Obama's tax cuts for small businesses, while running around America attacking Obama saying he was raising taxes on small businesses.
(Note: Obama cut small business taxes 18 different ways. I own three businesses and in a profitable year the federal government sent me $236 back. Obama in my assessment has been the most friendly president in my lifetime to small businesses.)
In case you doubt Republicans motivations and question my representation view this video of Mitch McConnell the Republican leader in the Senate. This video came immediately after the last election.
(Note: The Heritage Foundation where McConnell is speaking is the conservative think tank that invented the individual mandate that Romney was first to write into law. Read more on that here.)
Moveon.org has attempted to tackle this issue. They recently released a video explaining to people what Republicans were trying to do over the last two years to deny President Obama a second term. It was sort of a take-out-the-president-at-all-costs approach ... even if it meant businesses were closing, people were losing their jobs, and more homes were going into foreclosure (and oh yeah - even if it meant slowing the global economy with it).
Here is the video. Take a look. What do you think?
How do I feel about the issue?
I began writing in my personal blog two years ago that I was confused about Republicans approaches to jobs bills. Having voted Republican more than half the time and often agreeing with their policies, I looked at what they blocked and I looked at what they proposed.
Republicans blocked measures that even in the last recession Republicans still in power today had proposed.
Then I said to myself, "Maybe they have better ideas." I reviewed all 31 of their "jobs bills," and the economists' analysis of them. A full third of them destroyed environmental protections by allowing pesticides to be released into our streams and rivers and cancer causing coal ash to be pumped into our air freely. Jobs I thought? Sounds like it might create some jobs, but it also might kill people!
Economists seemed to reach a consensus that those Republican "jobs bills," were for political theater, but that job creation was not even the second, or third objective. It was said that if they created any jobs at all it would be 3-5 years down the road.
Economists stated the Obama's plan would create millions of jobs this year. I just couldn't understand why Republicans would block all jobs legislation unless they wanted to slow the economy before the election.
Then I learned that Republicans blocked 379 pieces of legislation grinding the entire Congress to a halt.
I joined PolicyMic to post video of the process Republicans used to sabotage job creation. View the article here.
Then after the 19th jobs bill was blocked I realized Americans were beginning to wise up to the situation and were talking about it more and more. I felt that Republicans would face a major backlash. Read that article here.
Later I realized that during a financial crisis, I don't want any party to ever use the strategy of slowing recovery to gain power again. If I didn't want it to be a political tool I felt I had to reveal what happened and I wrote this Democrats call to action.
Now, I think Republicans, independents, and Democrats should raise their voices about this very loudly. During a financial crisis when people like you, me, your friends, and your family, are really struggling, shouldn't the top political priority of every leader be to help America bounce back as quickly as possible.
If it is patriotic to fight on America's behalf, if it is patriotic to put America first above all other personal agendas, what is it when a party puts the goal of gaining political power ahead of what is best for Americans?
Now, I'm about to receive a bunch of comments about how Democrats voted against it too. Sure, I've heard it all before. Two Democrats who squeaked into office from heavily conservative red states voted to block debate with the Republicans. It is so close that both of them might lose their seats this election anyway, just because the tide changed.
Now, I'm going to get a lot of comments about how it will never work because the stimulus never worked, and economists said it wouldn't work. To that I say, "Who the hell are you to tell me what didn't help business?" I own three businesses. I owned one before the stimulus. I bought the second with money from business revenue after the stimulus caused my phones to ring with customers for months and months on end.
The stimulus took us from losing 839,000 jobs in the month of December 2008 to within a year gaining more than 141,000 jobs per month. Not a huge gain, but we weren't starting from zero jobs gained or lost. This was a 1 million job per month swing in the economy.
What about GDP? Revised fourth quarter 2008 GDP showed the economy was in free fall, as 8.9% of economic activity vanished into thin air in the last quarter Republicans held the presidency and Congress. Again, all primary sources for the claims that I am making now are in several of my previous articles.
So the stimulus was the biggest turnaround in the history of the United States and Republicans don't want you to know about it because they all voted against it and said it wouldn't work.
In May of this year I was on a radio show. At the end of the three hour interview broadcast to independent voters I said, "Republicans have been tamping down confidence in the economy through the debt ceiling manufactured crisis. I predict that something will be manufactured to generate crisis fears prior to the election that will make the economy dip right before the polls are open."
Tada! Then appeared, as if my magic, the fiscal cliff. The most predictable and solvable crisis in history. It helps to create massive uncertainty leading up to the election so business owners slow hiring and hold onto cash rather than making major purchases. So the economy plummets right before people go to the polls.
How do I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that this was manufactured on purpose?
Consider the probability of this happening.
There is a law called the "WARN Act." The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. It requires that employers provide 60 days advance notice if their plant is going to have mass layoffs. This covers many different kinds of businesses including the defense industry.
What would the random probability that the defense cuts from the failed deficit cutting negotiations would automatically kick in 60 days after the Friday before the election?
Let me rephrase that. The Friday before the election about seven or eight percent of all workers in the country through the defense industry alone will receive notification that their plant might close. Under the WARN Act if employers don't send the letters they could later be sued.
Republicans timed the defense cuts, which would almost slash our military spending in half for 60 days, after the Friday before the elections so that hundreds of thousands of people are warned that they are about to be fired.
What are the odds of this timing occurring naturally?
Is it most likely that someone is simply playing around with American citizens jobs for pure political gain?
Is this not the most insidious and unpatriotic set of actions that you have ever heard of in your life?
I am appalled at what I've been seeing.
While Democrats certainly don't run government perfectly, I've never seen them actively sabotage the economy to try and gain power.
What is at risk here?
Republican economic policies were in place leading up to both the Great Depression and the Great Recession. In both cases, it seems Republican economics led us to the most spectacular implosion of the American economy in history.
What do you think should happen?
Is this a political calculation that you agree with? Was it a smart move?
Is there patriotism in these actions that I'm not seeing somewhere?
Should all parties fight back against a tactic like this so it fails and is not used to slow a recovery during the next major crisis?
Talk to me. What do you think?