An award winning writer with a doctorate in English can better sum up the Republicans effort to stall and kill the economic recovery just to make the President look bad just so they can capture power much better than I can, and syndicated columnist Gene Lyons did just that with a column called “Americans still captive by the 'zombie lies'.”
This column ran in the print edition of the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, but not online. The U.S. Senate Republicans filibuster on a bill that will allow a six-month extension of unemployment benefits and Medicaid funding is even more proof of Republican desire to stay in the Bush recession.
But Lyons said it best:
“It's not simply about making the Obama administration look bad. Many Republicans actually love economic recessions. No better means of disciplining the labor force has ever been devised. That’s the real message behind the GOP's Senate filibuster denying extended federal benefits to roughly a million long-term unemployed.”
Lyons quotes our own U.S. Senator, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-East Lansing.
“In consequence, several hundred thousand cops, teachers, firefighters and other public employees are sure to be laid off due to state budget cuts. Fat lot of good that will do the economy. But working stiffs will be keeping their heads down, won't they?
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., whose state has the nation's second-highest unemployment rate (13.6 percent), put it forcefully: "The Republicans in the Senate want this economy to fail. In cynical political terms ... they want our country to fail to win an election, and they're willing to take the people of this country with them."
It amazes me that anyone who makes a living from a pay check would vote for a Republican. But they have made a science out getting people to vote against their own self interest. The billons of dollars spent on rightwing think tanks has been a long term investment that has been worth every penny to the rich and Republicans.
“But that's only part of the story. One of the enduring mysteries of American life is how Republicans keep succeeding by failing. The presidency of George W. Bush ought to have inoculated American voters against GOP economic theories for a generation. Tax cuts for the wealthy led not to greater prosperity, but runaway budget deficits, a doubled national debt and the weakest job creation since World War II. See-no-evil financial deregulation damn near destroyed the world banking system. By the time President Obama was inaugurated last January, the economy was bleeding 750,000 lost jobs a month; the Congressional Budget Office had already projected the FY 2009 deficit at $1.3 trillion -- a budget written by the Bush White House. After taking over in 2001 with a healthy budget surplus and some economists warning against paying down the debt too fast, Bush doubled it to over $10 trillion in eight short years.”
Republicans had no problem with deficit spending by the likes of Bush and even Reagan, but now when we are trying to dig out of the worst recession since the Great Depression, they have a problem with it.
“New spending by the Obama administration -- mainly the economic stimulus and auto industry rescue -- is dwarfed by Bush's spending on the Iraq and Afghan wars and the unfunded Medicare prescription drug benefit. If Democratic attempts to stimulate the economy have proven less than adequate, that's because they've both been hostage to GOP obstructionism and restrained by the fiscal straitjacket Republicans left behind.”
Gene Lyons is syndicated political columnist and co-author with Joe Conason of “The Hunting of the President: The 10 Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton. He graduated with a Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia in 1969. He taught at the University of Massachusetts, University of Arkansas and University of Texas before becoming a full-time writer in 1976. He has written hundreds of articles, essays and reviews for such magazines as Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine and The New York Review of Books. He is a winner of the National Magazine Award for Public Service.