Friday, January 29, 2010

(Political) On the Republican Response to the State of the Union Address

With all due respect to my friends and loved ones who are Republican, I am at a loss when it comes to understanding how anyone can take the Republican Party seriously. Their responses to policy questions have no content whatsoever. It's a joke. Unfortunately, not everyone gets that it's a joke.

A case in point is the Republican response to Obama's State of the Union address. Governor McDonnell of Virginia delivered this response. He said: "In the past year, more than 3 million Americans have lost their jobs, yet the Democratic Congress continues deficit spending, adding to the bureaucracy, and increasing the national debt on our children and grandchildren." What in the world is the word "yet" doing there?
He's complaining about spending too much on stimulus, and he is also complaining about not doing enough to increase employment. These two complaints are contradictory. The only power the government has to increase employment short-term is stimulus spending. Nothing else comes close in effectiveness, in the short-term. Tax cuts have a stimulative effect, but much reduced, since only a fraction of the money refunded goes to increasing demand for labor. Tax cuts cost more and do less (at least short-term).

Republicans pretend to be concerned about the deficit, but the deficit ALWAYS soars under Republican control. The federal debt, as a fraction of GDP was astronomical during World War II, but declined steadily under Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter. Under Reagan, it skyrocketed. It started declining again under Clinton, and then shot up again under G.W.Bush. Unless you are willing to make massive cuts in the most expensive programs (principally, the military budget---we spend as much on military as all the other countries in the world COMBINED), then there is basically no way to decrease our deficits except through tax increases. Which is exactly what Republicans have vowed never to do.

They have no coherent approach to solving any of the problems that they claim to care about. Their proposals would make all of our problems worse: the deficit, unemployment, lack of coverage of health care. It's a travesty. But it sounds convincing to too many people.

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Blogger 腳亞子 said...

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3:43 AM  
Anonymous Kyle McCullough said...

I know. And it's really depressing. Most of my friends are Republicans or 'moderate' conservatives who usually vote Republican. I try to engage them on this and gleen just what in the world they are thinking. And they really don't want to talk about it. But, as near as I can tell, it comes down to what I call 'The OJ Defense'.

In my humble opinion, the evidence was overwhelming that OJ murdered his ex-wife and her boyfriend. The jury refused to convict, mainly because they just couldn't believe that OJ would do such a thing. Conservatives see their heroes the same way. "Surely," they say, "they can't be as bad as the evidence says. So the evidence must be wrong."

11:19 PM  

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