April 06, 2009

What a bunch of damn bullshit...Part 2

"The American public understands something must be askew if every single Republican votes against something."

-- Minority Whip Eric Cantor, when asked by reporters why Republicans have said "no" to nearly everything the Democrats have proposed.

This is a post about the deficit and the irrational thinking of Senators Nelson and Bayh. I included this quote from that twerp Cantor because the Republicans aren't principled when they talk about deficits. To a man and woman, they helped Bush turn a surplus into ever expanding deficits. Their sudden conversion to fiscal responsibility is craven and opportunistic. It's also EXACTLY the wrong thing, and the American people know it. This isn't about them, though. The Republicans in Congress are a lost cause and our only way through as a nation will involve removing them from office, cycle by cycle.

This is about two Democrats who are thoroughly out of their minds if they think their path is the right one. We have seen, in stark relief, that we will be needing a lot more in terms of stimulus. And in terms of making desperately needed improvements and upgrades to our education, transportation and public safety infrastructure. Making these improvements gives us greater room for faster economic growth with low inflation which in turn helps cut the debt we build up now by running deficits.

Real unemployment in this country is 12.5%-19%, depending on whose estimate is used off the BLS numbers. That makes this the worst economic downturn since the Depression. In an environment like this, your focus should be on alleviating pain and suffering while pushing every lever possible to build into a recovery. Which you can do with debt. It's this that has Bayh so worried:

"[U]nder this budget, our national debt skyrockets from $11.1 trillion today to an estimated $17 trillion in 2014. As a percentage of our gross domestic product, it reaches a precarious 66.5 percent. The deficit remains larger than our projected economic growth, an unsustainable state of affairs. This budget will increase our borrowing from and dependence upon foreign nations. I cannot support such results. We can do better, and for the sake of our nation and our children’s future, we must."

What is so stunning about this statement from Senator Bayh is just how utterly clueless it shows him to be. Whether willful or genuine ignorance is the reason, it's shocking coming from someone in a position of power. The projections to which Bayh refers are based on low or no growth over the next few years. They do not take into account resurgent economic growth or the effects of improved infrastructure on economic efficiency (which, by the way, allows the economy to grow at a rapid click with real wage growth and low inflation, kind of a Goldilocks economy we should be so lucky to enjoy).

This is not the time to use scare tactics or play politics in a vain attempt to make yourself appear more important than your colleagues. It would be great if Bayh and Nelson would pick something else to stand out on.

Posted by mcblogger at April 6, 2009 12:29 PM

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