Thursday, February 12, 2009

Don't We Have to Pay ALL of the Money Back?

I'm getting a little sick and tired of every time I turn on the television I see some Republican mouthpiece claiming that we are dooming a future generation...financially.

If its not John Sununu on the Daily Show tonight (link to follow later), its John McCain calling it "generational theft". Apparently, this strategy of calling it "theft" is the creation of House minority leader John Boehner, who wrote it on a new-ish site called AmericaSpeaksOn. The basic argument is that Democrats are trying to spending and borrow their way to prosperity, which is true in a technical sense but debatable and provocative politically. I believe the phrase was also used by Michelle Malkin, coined to describe the stimulus package (I've seen it on her Twitter if I remember right). Whomever it may be saying the phrase, it does contain truth value. Possibly unbeknownst to the millionaires of Congress, this is how credit works. You borrow money you don't have, on the promise to pay it, plus interest, back in the future.

Yet, if my memory serves me correctly (as it almost always does in trivial matters), they should know about credit all too well. After all, we are fighting not one, but two wars on credit as we speak. I guess Republicans are fiscal conservatives--unless they're in power. On last Thursday's Daily Show, Jon Stewart showed clips (skip to 5:16 in) from Boehner and other opponents of the stimulus justifying spending billions in Iraq.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) discussed his objections to President Obama’s stimulus package currently before the Senate. McConnell expressed his concerns over the long term cost of the plan, because “we are already looking at, before we even do this, at over a trillion dollar deficit for this year”:

Most of my members believe that we could pass a very robust stimulus for less than the amount currently before us. We have been throwing figures around like it was paper money. We are already looking at, before we even do this, at over a trillion dollar deficit for this year. We all agree that we need to do something, but I don’t think we should not just completely act like the amount is irrelevant.

McConnell is not alone in trotting out this argument. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) has also railed against increasing the deficit to pay for measures that won’t act as effective economic stimulus, saying that the current stimulus plan is “arrogantly indifferent to economic reality.”

In order to criticize, you should present a solution. The only comprehensive alternative being offered by Senate conservatives is DeMint’s “American Option: A Jobs Plan That Works,” a series of permanent tax breaks for corporations and wealthy Americans. A new analysis from the Center for American Progress Action Fund finds that the DeMint plan would cost over $3.1 trillion over ten years (more than three times the amount of President Obama’s plan) and be largely ineffective at creating jobs. The DeMint plan includes permanently cutting the corporate tax rate, totally eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax, lowering income tax rates for the wealthiest Americans, and eliminating scores of tax deductions that help students pay for college, sick families pay medical bills, and teachers purchase supplies for their classrooms. Permanent tax cuts are one of the least effective ways of stimulating the economy according to both Moody’s and the Congressional Budget Office. Furthermore, slashing government revenues this permanently would leave deep structural deficits for generations to come. McConnell is fond of saying that a stimulus bill should be “timely, temporary, and targeted.” The plan Senate Republicans were backing, though, fulfills none of these criteria.

To revisit the title, what is the difference on the money we borrow? Is it worth more to rebuild another country or our own? Correct me if I'm wrong, but are these not members of the same party who continually deny climate change exists, fuel economy standards are necessary, and believe that our best energy solution is "Drill, Baby, Drill"? Since when is this party concerned about my generation, much less my children's?

So Ladies and Gentlemen of the Congress, I respectfully request that you stop blowing smoke up our asses and do your jobs. The economy is partly your fault, therefore, the lion's share of the repair is your responsibility. I will do my part by continuing to go to work for as long as I am employed and able, also by continuing to shop for groceries in America. All I ask is that you don't insult my intelligence. Everyone in the Midwest is not on meth, everyone in the South is not a bible-thumping racist, not everyone in the city is a sodomizing liberal, not every African American can play basketball nor are they criminals, not every Latino is here to steal a job, not every Middle Easterner is a terrorist, not every Indian is a telemarketer nor do they all own convienece stores nor are they all doctors, not every Native American owns a casino, not every Asian American is good at math, and not every religious person is a Christian nor are all people believers. Stop lumping everyone together, unless you finally figure out how to do so by lumping us together as Americans, all for one and one for all, all in it together, succeed or fail.

My fellow citizens, feel free to forward this sentiment if you agree or debate me if you disagree, but keep in mind, we need to take our destiny back from these ridiculous people.

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