Imagine your house is burning. You call the fire department but your call isn’t answered because every fire fighter in town is debating whether there will be enough water to fight fires over the next ten years, even though water is plentiful right now. (Yes, there’s a long-term problem.) One faction won’t even allow the fire trucks out of the garage unless everyone agrees to cut water use. An agency that rates fire departments has just issued a downgrade, causing everyone to hoard water.The Republicans remind me of another political faction, the America First group, who in 1940 looked at war in Europe and decided to firmly plant their head in the sand and pretend if they didn't see it, it wouldn't come and get them. But it did. War came when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941. Republicans today have decided to plant their heads in the sand and ignore high unemployment, the large number of home foreclosures, and the failed "recovery" from the 2008 crash. They hope that if they don't peek, the economy will revive. But it won't. No more that the America First true believers who carefully refused to peek failed to stop war coming to the US.
While all this squabbling continues, your house burns to the ground and the fire has now spread to your neighbors’ homes. But because everyone is preoccupied with the wrong question (the long-term water supply) and the wrong solution (saving water now), there’s no response. In the end, the town comes up with a plan for the water supply over the next decade, but it’s irrelevant because the whole town has been turned to ashes.
Okay, I exaggerate a bit, but you get the point. The American economy is on the verge of another recession. Most Americans haven’t even emerged from the last one. Consumers (70 percent of the economy) won’t or can’t spend because their major asset is worth a third less than it was five years ago, they can’t borrow as before, and they’re justifiably worried about their jobs and wages. And without customers, businesses won’t expand and hire. So we’re trapped in a vicious cycle that’s getting worse.
But the government won’t come to the rescue by spending more and cutting most peoples’ taxes because it’s obsessed by a so-called “debt crisis” based on budget projections over the next ten years. That obsession – which serves the ideological purposes of right-wing Republicans who really want to shrink government — has even spread to the eat-your-spinach media, deficit hawks in the Democratic Party, and a major (and thoroughly irresponsible) credit-rating agency that’s neither standard nor poor.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Robert Reich Paints a Picture of the Political Crisis
Here is a bit from a post by Robert Reich on his blog. This pretty well captures the insanity of the political squabble, a fiddling while Rome burns, that the Republicans has pushed onto America: