(Swans - June 18, 2012) Michael Cohen, a columnist at the UK newspaper The Guardian, wrote a provocative article published on June 9 entitled "Did Republicans Deliberately Crash The US Economy?"
For Democrats, perhaps the most obvious piece of evidence of GOP premeditated malice is the 2010 quote from Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell:
"The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."
Such words lead some to the conclusion that Republicans will do anything, including short-circuiting the economy, in order to hurt Obama politically.
In a comment posted (among many) in response to the article, "Gelion" captured the belief of many readers this way:
"Did Republicans deliberately crash the US economy?"
To stop Obama being re-elected? Yes, I am sure they did.
To stop the poor from having a slice of the cake that they so selfishly grab? -- Yes, I am sure they did.
The Republicans since Reagan have been venal, selfish and greedy beyond measure -- as most of them profess to be "Christian", I wonder what they will say when they come before Christ and he questions them on why they have done the very opposite of what he preached.
Commentator "Mysticnick" showed an excerpt from an article by Tim Dickinson, published in the magazine Rolling Stone, on the specifics of Republican intransigence on matters of national economic management:
By driving the economy into the ditch, Republicans left the next president little choice but to drive up deficits in the short term by launching a massive campaign of federal spending to ward off a global depression. But even the $787 billion stimulus engineered by President Obama was hamstrung by his predecessor's ongoing giveaway to the wealthy: Republicans insisted that nearly 10 percent of every stimulus dollar be devoted to financing the annual "patch" to the Alternative Minimum Tax -- the off-budget legacy of Bush's tax cuts for the rich. This was a $70 billion handout that inflated the cost of the stimulus package without stimulating anything -- other than the paychecks of wealthy Americans.
From the outset of the Obama presidency, in fact, Republicans have engaged in a calculated, across-the-board campaign to protect the tax privileges of the wealthiest Americans. Their objective was made explicit by Rep. Eric Cantor during the height of the stimulus debate: "No Tax Increases to Pay for Spending" declared one bullet point on Cantor's website. "House Republicans are insisting that any stimulus package include a provision precluding any tax increases, now or in the future, to pay for this new spending." Having racked up the largest deficits in American history, Republicans suddenly found it expedient to return to their old-school rhetoric of deficit-bashing. "Under Bush, they had a story about deficits not mattering," says Michael Ettlinger, who directs economic policy at the Center for American Progress. "Then, all of a sudden Obama becomes president, and deficits matter again."
Reflecting on what I have observed about Republicans since the Reagan administration, through media and directly from individuals I have known, I have come to the following conclusions.
Republicans would have no problem shrinking the US economy to gain exclusive control of it.
An important part of this effort is applying colonialism domestically, by enflaming:
- the resentments of many white people (against "socialism," and directed toward public employee pension rollbacks),
- the racism by everybody (against Mexican immigrants, against blacks as in the Trayvon Martin case), and
- sexism (a "war on women" and against "abortion" and homosexuality, a universal sop to assuage stupid male insecurity).
The purpose of sowing such social dissension is to set much of the lower economic classes against one another, as a political distraction from Republican-championed thievery.
Why? Because Republicans represent a faction whose aim is to extract value from the mass of the nation: they are parasites, and plutocracy is parasite heaven. "Money knows no borders" as has been said, and it has no patriotism. The demographically-shrinking base of the Republican party is rich old white men for whom racism and sexism are effective tools of social control to achieve their only goal, which is simple greed facilitated by political control and the monopolizing of legalized theft through financial manipulations (and please spare me the sanctimonious cant about "building businesses" and "creating jobs").
Hence, wrecking the economy to reduce opportunities and create more resentment in the dumbed-down, increasingly jobless masses, who ignorantly take out their frustrations on each other in ethnic conflicts and sexism, and -- most profitably for the parasites -- on the Democratic black president and his party (who are actually not far from the Republicans when it comes to the servicing of Big Capital), is a perfectly logical strategy to increase the Republican-plutocrat degree of control over the mechanisms for extracting wealth from the public.
The United States of America is not a nation, it is one large economic killing field in a class war being conducted by plutocratic colonialists as a financial imperialism.
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About the Author
Manuel García, Jr. on Swans. He is a native of the upper upper west side barrio of the 1950s near Riverside Park in Manhattan, New York City, and a graduate engineering physicist who specialized in the physics of fluids and electricity. He retired from a 29 year career as an experimental physicist with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the first fifteen years of which were spent in underground nuclear testing. An avid reader with a taste for classics, and interested in the physics of nature and how natural phenomena can impact human activity, he has long been interested in non-fiction writing with a problem-solving purpose. García loves music and studies it, and his non-technical thinking is heavily influenced by Buddhist and Jungian ideas. A father of both grown children and a school-age daughter, today García occupies himself primarily with managing his household and his young daughter's many educational activities. García's political writings are left wing and, along with his essays on science-and-society, they have appeared in a number of smaller Internet magazines since 2003, including Swans. Please visit his personal Blog at manuelgarciajr.wordpress.com. (back)