A little over a year ago, I predicted that the moment the economy started to show signs of improvement, despite not being in office long enough to pass ANY legislation that might impact jobs, Republicans would be quick to dismiss the presidents policies of the past two years and take full credit for the improved job market. I made the same point again last January after Speaker Boehner was running around with his prop laminated “Jobs Plan” pamphlet decrying the fact President Obama and Senate Democrats were refusing to even hold a vote on any of their “30 jobs bills” (that in fact have nothing to do with jobs, including one bill to deregulate “crop dust from pesticides”.) As I frequently point out, you can’t “take credit for the improved economy” at the same time you’re complaining that the president won’t implement your ideas. This month, the jobs report was down and Republicans were right back to allaying blame. “Internalize the credit and externalize the blame”, as my friend on C&L so aptly put it.
The reason the March jobs figures were worse than expected is obvious: rising gas prices sucking a Trillion dollars out of the economy that could of been spent elsewhere. And despite what Republicans want you to believe, it has NOTHING to do with the “supply” of oil. (As I wrote one year ago, the surest way to bring down oil prices is to make oil less necessary by investing in renewables.) It’s mostly a combination of Oil Speculators on Wall Street, continued unrest in Syria, and the Iranian oil embargo. Get the price of oil down, and watch the economy come roaring back.
But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
It wouldn’t be so infuriating if people didn’t keep falling for this foolishness again & again. You’d think that after the first few times Republicans flipped from “assigning blame” to “taking credit” and then back to “assigning blame”, people would start to catch on, but they don’t. When things are bad, it’s the other sides’ fault. When things are good, it’s all thanks to you and your side. Consistency be damned.
If you’re unfamiliar with this concept, it comes from the Wall Street bailout, where a dangerously unregulated banking system allows banks to gamble with “house money” knowing that if they lose it all, the government will simply bail them out. So there’s no risk to dissuade them from poring their money into the riskiest of investments promising the highest rate of return. Yet, when those risky investments DO pay off, the GOP gives them huge tax cuts so they don’t help repay the money the government had to borrow from China to bail their butts out. This is known as “Privatizing the profits and Socializing the losses”.
There is another Republican system where this same insanity takes place: The Privatization of Medicare & Social Security. In the case of “Social Security”, Republicans argue (or argued during the Clinton boom years) that people could save more for their retirement if… instead of paying all that money into Social Security, they simply invested that money into the booming Stock Market. But what do we do with the people whose investments fail and they lose their retirement? Do we “let ’em die” homeless and kick them to the curb saying, “tough luck, you gambled and you lost”, or do we cover them too? Where does THAT money come from? No one paid into any Social Security trust fund… you privatized it, remember? But let’s say for a moment that we agree not to let anyone retire homeless just because the stock market crashed. What’s to stop you from investing in the riskiest, high return gamble on Wall Street knowing that “even if I lose it all, the government will still bail me out”? EVERYONE would gamble on the riskiest investments while a defunded Social Security system struggles to bail everyone out.
Same thing with the Paul Ryan Medicare Privatization scheme again, too many people will buy health insurance promising “unlimited coverage for a dollar a day” only to be denied care when they most need it. Then they show up in hospital emergency rooms at a rate even higher than they already do today. Only now, there won’t be a Medicare System to hit up for reimbursement. Privatize the profits, Socialize the loses.
It’s about time people start to catch on to this foolishness.
(Note: Last Monday, I wrote about The Affordable Care Act (aka: “ObamaCare”) finally going before the Supreme Court. In error, I mistakenly expected them to return a verdict the same day/week, not realizing that it was only the start of “public hearings” and “opening arguments” for the case. A ruling is not expected until June. I apologize for the error. – Mugsy)
|Please REGISTER to post COMMENTS and be notified by e-mail every time this Blog is updated! Firefox/IE7+ users can use RSS for a browser link that lists the latest posts!|