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Sunday, January 11, 2009

It's rational for the economically secure to oppose sacrifice for an economic recovery:

I was going to write a long post about this, and may in the coming days, but wanted to get this out now.

What crystalized this thought was listening to an NPR interview with Mitch McConnell on Friday. He was very lukewarm to Obama's recovery plan but was very much in favor of lower taxes.

The tax cuts that McConnell wants won't do much for the economy. So you might say, why isn't McConnell in favor of policy moves that restart the economy? But McConnell is representing the interests of the rich, the comfortable, and those with well-paying secure jobs. They aren't getting unemployment insurance. They can afford healthcare. Why the rush to recovery? Especially if it means highr taxes (now or down the road as a response to deficits).

These people can actually be better off in a recession because they have buying power when everyone else has none (check out the prices of automobiles). And wealth is a relative concept. With more people being thrown out of homes and losing jobs, those left standing perceive their status as enhanced and like it just fine. In fact, look at some other countries where there is a fairly secure upper class. Are they in favor of redistribution if it would lead to a stronger economy? Not if it means taxes. And so the reform/recovery never takes place.

Don't be fooled. The Republicans, for the most part, have no interest in getting the economy moving again. For them, neo-Hooverite policies are just what's called for.



12 comments

I agree with what you wrote, but you left out one supremely important element for Republicans:

If the economy sucks in 2010, they'll run against the incompetence of Dems in running the economy (and, of course, against the deficit that they created and which hamstrings recovery efforts).

Likewise in 2012.

Sabotaging recovery makes sense for them in gaining electoral power, too. And, as we've seen, it's all they care about besides enriching the rich.

I'm not sure how "post-partisan politics" can compete with this sort of perfidy and a press that will fully enable obstructionism. It's a frightening time.

By Blogger riffle, at 1/11/2009 2:38 PM  

In addition the Repugs, who accused the Dems of wanting to see the country fail so that they could win the next election during the last eight years, will be a stone wall of obstruction for exactly that political purpose. To call them on it will be character assassination and a dastardly calumny.

Fact is, they committed moral suicide a long, long time ago.

By Blogger gmoke, at 1/11/2009 9:18 PM  

The Obama administration hasn't even begun, and already you're blaming the Republicans for the next four years of Democratic impotence and failure.

Republicans have seen it coming a mile away. Now it's starting to dawn on Democrats.

We've gone from "tax cuts for 95% of the American People" to "EVERYBODY is going to have to sacrifice."

Political translation: Tax increases for every American.

It's no wonder that Republicans are shutting their businesses and getting out while they can. If I owned a business, I'd sell it, buy gold, and live off my assets for the next four years. And I'm not the only one.

Too bad your "hope" didn't work out this time. Maybe instead of "hoping", you should have not elected a socialist.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/12/2009 6:38 AM  

Too bad your "hope" didn't work out this time. Maybe instead of "hoping", you should have not elected a socialist.

So we should have elected a semi-senile plutocratic warmonger and Elly May Clampett instead?

No thanks.

For those predicting doom and gloom - the more likely scenario will be that the GOP will seriously underestimate Obama at their own peril.

By Anonymous Screamin' Demon, at 1/12/2009 8:13 AM  

Dear Anonymous,
We are not blaming the Repugs for the prospective failure of the next four years but predicting their reactions to the policies of the Obama administration. The signs are already there as you and yours dream of going all John Galt.

By Blogger gmoke, at 1/12/2009 9:32 PM  

This demonstrates why there is a "Hoover" vacuum, as if the Republican opposition gives a dam [sick!].

By Blogger Shag from Brookline, at 1/13/2009 3:46 AM  

"Going John Galt" is definitely a meme in conservative circles. Some are doing it already. Others are daydreaming about it but have families to feed.

Of course, Obama could surprise them and create a very business-friendly environment. He's already surprised conservatives and, delightfully, is beginning to piss off leftists. Of course, he hasn't had any power to exercise yet so it's still all up in the air as to what he will do when he takes office.

Still, I can't help but wonder how businessmen "going John Galt" are supposed to "seriously underestimate Obama at their own peril." How is Obama going to thwart their intentions to not produce goods and service?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/13/2009 2:01 PM  

I find it interesting that Atlas Shrugged is the #33 selling book on amazon.com.

That's certainly stunning and should give Obamists pause. It's more than just a handful of people who are considering, or dreaming about "going John Galt."

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/13/2009 2:12 PM  

Anonymous, you and yours please go John Galt (take your widdle ball and bat and slink home). I'll be going to a weatherization barnraising instead.

By Blogger gmoke, at 1/13/2009 5:25 PM  

What the hell is a weatherization barnraising?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/14/2009 6:33 AM  

I don't mind if they go John Galt as long as they promise not to ever come back...

By Anonymous e. nonee moose, at 1/14/2009 10:50 AM  

God, yes. If the conservatives would just John Galt their asses out of our country. Please. Please.

By Blogger delagar, at 1/14/2009 12:35 PM  

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