Shortly after the 1929 stock market crash the response from government was to cut spending and implement austerity measures in order to stabilize the markets. The opposite happened. A rapid contraction of government spending resulted in even less commerce and even less spending which caused businesses to fail and millions of Americans to lose their jobs, which sent the country into the Great Depression.
At first in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, I thought maybe we'd learned from our mistakes. A rapid stimulus response pumped money into the economy and spared the crash that may have happened had it not been goosed with that money. But now, just as that stimulus money dries up, the budget hawks are calling for spending cuts and austerity measures. This is during a jobless recovery. We still have official unemployment of 9% and unofficial unemployment over 16%. More Americans are out of work today than were out of work during the Great Depression. Sure, we're a bigger country now, but that's still a lot of misery going around.
Meanwhile we have messages like this coming out of Congress:
Americans deserve immediate spending cuts that demonstrate that we are charting a swift path toward a balanced budget. We must implement discretionary and mandatory spending reductions that would cut the deficit in half next year.This was a message from the Congressional Republican Study Committee.
Why do we deserve immediate spending cuts? What did we do to deserve having our safety nets slashed just when we're clinging to them to keep from falling into the abyss? Why do we deserve to have spending cuts when what we need right now is economic stimulus? We don't need a contraction in the one part of the economy that has actually continued to spend. We need continued investment in our economy to keep it from collapsing in on itself. We're not out of the woods ... we're still in the thick of it.
What we actually deserve is leadership up to the task of leading. Up to the task of defending the working (and unemployed, and elderly, and youth) people of the United States against the transgressions of the money whores.
If you're really concerned about the budget deficit and national debt, then raise taxes on those sectors that have actually weathered the storm with remarkable ease ... the top 2% that those Bush tax cuts went to. I know I've said all this before, but I'll keep on saying it, because it's still the truth.We're supposed to save during good times and spend during bad. The trouble is we spent during good and now those idiots who didn't pay attention in school want to save when times are bad. It's backward. It's stupid. It's ignorant.
But I guess I agree with one thing. It is what we deserve. Voters get what they deserve and in 2010 we actually invited the Republican party back into power and this is the result.
Bend over, America. The Boehner's back.