Kevin Drum Kills GOP “Uncertainty Meme”

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    Thank you, Kevin Drum, for killing the brain-dead yet pervasive GOP “uncertainty meme” regarding why the economy isn’t growing more rapidly. What is the “uncertainty meme?”  According to this guy, believe it or not a professor of business, the economy’s not growing because:

    …of all the uncertainty [firms] face in the marketplace. Businesses don’t know what will happen to interest rates. They have trouble calculating what new workers will cost in light of potential new healthcare mandates and costs. They don’t know what will happen to tax rates, which could rise dramatically. They are uncertain about increasing financial regulation and the possibility of a carbon tax. And as if that isn’t enough, the soaring deficits and national debt raise very real questions about the federal government’s long-term ability to meet its debt obligations.

    Other than the pathetic, whiny tone of all this – since when have Americans become like this, not able to handle a bit of “uncertainty” and risk, curling up in fetal position under their desks any time the government tweaks tax rates or whatever?  Yet, amazingly, this is an extremely common theme from the likes of Eric Can’tor, John BONEr and Mitch McConnell. Why? Most likely because, even though these guys know it’s complete cow manure, they also know that it serves their Big Lie “argument” that our economic problems are all the Democrats’ – as opposed to nobody’s, or everybody’s, or their own – fault.

    The problem is, as is almost always the case with Republicans these days, the “uncertainty meme” is about 99.9% untrue (yes, there’s always a kernel of reality in any “Big Lie”). As Kevin Drum points out about this “mindboggling” meme, there’s actually a great deal of certainty right now on: 1) interest rates (“will remain very low for a very long time”); 2) health care reform (“has no impact on small businesses and only a minuscule impact on large businesses”); 3) tax policy (“even if the Bush tax cuts expire completely the effect on small businesses would be close to zero”); 4) financial reform (“a fairly modest affair, and in any case its effect is almost entirely restricted to the financial sector”); 5) carbon tax (is this a joke? “There is no possibility in the near future of a carbon tax.”); 6) the deficit (“There is no question about the federal government’s long-term ability to meet its debt obligations, and even if there were this would have very little effect on short-term investment decisions by American businesses.”).

    So much for the “uncertainty meme,” Kevin Drum has killed it. Well, that is, he would have killed it if the corporate/”lamestream” media would actually print factual information, instead of right-wing propaganda, as they’re supposed to be doing.

    P.S. Thank goodness these whiny Republicans weren’t around – or were they? – during the 1980s, when the Reagan Administration kept changing tax rates dramatically, when interest rates also changed dramatically, and when government policy kept changing dramatically. In short, there was almost ZERO “certainty” during the 1980s and the Golden Reagan Era, yet the economy grew rapidly. How do Nobel Prize economists Can’tor, BONEr, and McConnell explain that? Heh.

    • Dan Sullivan

      You have to scroll past the opinion of Joseph Stiglitz, a professor of economics at Columbia University who won the 2001 Nobel Prize in economics and is a former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. His is quite a different and conflicting perspective. But that is the problem when there is an agenda to defend. No time for dissonance. It creates too much uncertainty.

    • gene magruder

      If a business has a product that will sell to the american people they will produce it, regardless of all the excuses the gentleman makes. So if I have a product that will make me a millionaire I will not produce it because I am confused about tax policy. The guy evidently does not now how economics works.