Apparently we cannot all just get along
The debt ceiling artificial crisis left most Americans thinking their government is ugly at least, and dysfunctional at worst.
That prompts the question that Rodney King once posed: “Can’t we all just get along?”
Republicans politicians have expanded an ideological view of government as smaller and less intrusive into a political mantra that all government is bad. Given that perception, they are willing to dismember, dismantle and disassemble anything that is part of that government.
That ideological conviction is the only rational explanation why the Republican House was more than willing to toss the nation into default last week.
If you believe all government is bad, then closing down government is good, whenever it happens regardless of the outcome.
It would also explain the current shutdown of the FAA, a political folly that may well cost the government more than a billion in revenue before it is resolved.
From an anti-government perspective, so what if 70,000 workers are out of work? So what if crucial transportation projects are left unfinished? These simply become examples of the failure of government.
In an economy suffering from a shortage of jobs, one might think throwing so many into unemployment would be a concern to the Republicans in the House. Nope, not at all.
Alternatively, in an environment of deficits one might think the loss of a billion dollars in revenue might be important, but it is not, because Republicans want to starve the government of revenue to shrink its ability to function.
You may recall Republicans running on the issue of jobs in 2010, the top concern of most Americans. If you remember that election promise then you might wonder why the Republican House has not proposed a single job creation bill since their election.
After all, while all political promises are not able to be kept, shouldn’t we expect at least an attempt to fulfill an election commitment?
There is mounting evidence that the last thing Republicans want to do is create jobs, for that conflicts with what Minority Leader Mitch McConnell promised “Our number one goal is to make Obama a one-term president.”
Holding back the economy is the single best tool Republicans have to accomplish the stated priority of the minority leader.
And that might explain the content of last week’s debt ceiling legislation, legislation that caused a stock market drop, threats of credit ratings decline, and a negative response of Americans to the legislation.
Not only did the bill ignore the top concern of Americans for jobs, by cutting without demonstrating a commitment to growth, the government destroyed jobs and adds no jobs.
Finally, the Republican governors have acted seemingly in concert since last November to cut jobs, wages and benefits in their states, thus slowing down the economy and reducing consumer confidence.
While many of these governors have argued the need for economies, the same governors have simply diverted funds to provide incentives to businesses.
You may have noticed American corporations have been earning peak profits without state giveaways.
So can we all just get along when some of us want to undermine the economy for political benefit?
No, we cannot all get along.
Jim Crawford is retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.