Home Budget, Economy Mark Warner to Americans: “It’s Your Fault”

Mark Warner to Americans: “It’s Your Fault”

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It’s hard to know where to begin. There’s the idiocy of Senator Mark Warner’s failure to grasp economics 101. There’s the outrage of blaming the people for the deficit. And then there’s the litany of cliches he speaks. So, let’s talk about each of these.

Economics 101

Mark Warner cannot even diagnose what went wrong and why we have a large deficit. A large portion of the deficit is the result of the recession (not the cause of it). The deficit is also the result of the very tax cuts Warner seems too willing to hand over.  And, it is the result of off-the-books wars (which Obama put back on the books to keep us honest). But this much is certain (and it seems to elude Warner every time): You cannot grow an economy while slashing jobs.  And that is precisely what Mark Warner’s desire for massive and too-rapid deficit reduction will accomplish.  When the private sector isn’t hiring (and there  are some pretty Machiavellian reasons for that), the government must be the employer of last resort. Tax cuts reduce revenue, which means government has fewer resources for job-growing.

When offshoring is too enticing, you must remove the incentives.  AND, when Wall Street becomes the Wild West, you must reasonably regulate or re-regulate.  You surely need to fix those underlying causes of the latest debacle.  Tax cuts won’t help deficit reduction AT ALL.  They make it worse.  Reagonomics has FAILED.  The more-than-thirty-year experiment in trickle-down economics has shown clearly that you cannot tax-cut your way into job growth.  And savaging the poor, children, the old and the unemployed won’t solve this, though it does serve as balm to Republicans.  (It is also unethical, but in DC these days, few seem to care about that.)  If nothing else, the latest economic debacle shows that Ayn Rand/Peter Peterson/Chicago School of Economics/Club for Growth ideas are bankrupt hypotheses for any economy.  Who would base their economic strategies on a 10th rate novelist anyway? But the Peter Peterson drones mumble on with their mouthfuls of economic mush…

(More on what Warner gets wrong below)  

Blame the Victim

If only consumers were more confident, we would be OK, he implies.  Mark Warner’s secret I-Want-To-Be-A-Republican fetish is really getting old.  He’s talking just like other right-wingers who blame the citizens of the United States for what THEY (Republicans, Blue Dogs, and the rich) have done to this economy. It is true that Warner was not around when the Bush tax cuts were put in place. And it is also true that he didn’t authorize the war in Iraq when we had no legitimate reason to invade that country.

Still, it takes gall to assert that the current stagnation is due to the lack of consumer confidence. The lack of confidence is caused by the economic catastrophe of 2007-9. It continues because pols won’t grow jobs, instead focusing on draconian economy-killing austerity. Americans don’t have confidence because their jobs aren’t secure, the housing market is poor, AND politicians (like Warner) keep threatening the programs they depend upon.  

It takes real GOP slickspeak to suggest that corporations don’t have “confidence” either.  They are not (really) people, remember?  But they are headed by the super-wealthy, who, like Mark Warner, have gotten disgustingly more rich during the period when 95% or more of Americans aren’t doing well.  It has little to do with confidence.  The assets of those companies are being stockpiled to enrich corporate execs and the purveyors of the next round of corporate takeovers. The vultures take over the companies, siphon  all the assets, fire employees, and move on while the the shells-of-companies die. Not coincidentally, many corporate leaders do not want Obama to win the next round, so they withhold hiring they could well afford with their record profits and (at minimum) trillion is cash. Yet, Warner blames the bad economy not on corporate misbehavior, malfeasance, neglect and (in some cases) criminality), but on business confidence too.  Yes, Mark, it is corporate America’s fault. And, yes Mark, it was Bush’s fault. Obama’s fault is only that he listens to people like you. He didn’t cause this mess.

It’s Just Words

Elsewhere on the web there’s a story about meaningless cliches used everywhere, especially by the media and politicians. You could take a page from Mark Warner;s mouthful of cliches:  

-Targeted

-smart

-tools

-deficit reduction (which usually is nothing of the kind)

-at the end of the day

-fair and balanced (!?!?!?!?!?!?!)

-going forward… (well, he didn’t say that one, but you know he wanted to)

You get the idea.  Mark Warner is a walking compendium of right-wing talking points.  With friends like Saxby Chambliss, what else would we expect?

Conclusions

Now, you get to decide what you think of our very own Virginia quasi-Democrat.  Too few Virginians question his nonsense, much less his dangerous economic ideas. His tax breaks would go to the rich. The pain (loss of tax breaks and benefits Americans depend upon) is to be levied upon the rest of us.  He also wants to cut Social security benefits despite that program’s never contributing a penny to the deficit. “Radical centrism” is radical alright, but it’s NOT centrist at all.  The proposals of the Gang of Six and Warner’s road show illustrate clearly that Mark Warner is a secret Republican. His supporters (yes, I voted for him), are the last to know.  

  • 1. That something is good simply because it’s in the “middle.”  By this reasoning, of course, if your head’s on fire and your feet are frozen solid, you must be comfortable, because on average you’re at a nice, “middle” temperature. Ha. Also, by this reasoning, no matter how far the Teapublicans lurch to the far right, and no matter how far Democrats move to the center, the “middle” is still the correct place to be, by definition.  Note that the “middle” has moved significantly to the right over the past few years, yet it’s STILL, by definition, the correct answer to every question. This isn’t even thinking, it’s brain-dead, muddle-headed, utter nonsense.

    2. That there’s an equivalence between “the right” (e.g., the Koch-brothers funded faux-“populist” Tea Party, one of the most radical, reactionary groups we’ve seen since the John Birch Society days or McCarthyism) and “the left” (exactly, WHAT “left” in this country? when was the last time you saw a socialist, communist, or even a real social democrat on the ballot in America? uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh). There isn’t, by any stretch of the imagination. (perhaps a rich guy like Mark Warner would like to play the role of the Koch brothers on the “left?” Hahaha, not!)

    3. That throwing out straw men (aka, putting words in people’s mouths that they never said), such as that environmentalists all believe we can solve our energy problems with “wind power alone,” means that it’s a true statement of fact, or that you’re saying makes any sense whatsoever. Note to Mark Warner: it isn’t, and you’re not.

    4. That posing as a “radical centrist,” whatever that means, makes you one. I had a chance a couple of years ago to ask Mark Warner what it meant to be a “radical centrist,” if he could give me some examples of “radical centrists,” etc. His response? “I’d rather not elaborate,” or something very close to those exact words. In other words, he has no idea what “radical centrism” is, they’re just words he uses because some focus group or poll told him that voters kind of liked the sound of them, even if they’re utterly meaningless (like the proverbial attempt at “nailing jello to a wall”).

  • relawson

    You really hit the nail on the head here:

    KathyinBlacksburg: “Still, it takes gall to assert that the current stagnation is due to the lack of consumer confidence. The lack of confidence is caused by the economic catastrophe of 2007-9. It continues because pols won’t grow jobs, instead focusing on draconian economy-killing austerity. Americans don’t have confidence because their jobs aren’t secure, the housing market is poor, AND politicians (like Warner) keep threatening the programs they depend upon.”

    Let’s dive into this statement:

    KathyinBlacksburg: “The lack of confidence is caused by the economic catastrophe of 2007-9. ”

    If the 2007-2009 catastrophe caused lack of consumer confidence, what caused the economic catastrophe?  I have my list, but want to hear yours.  

    It would be the things on this list I believe the President needs to fix for any successful job creation bill.

  • Does Warner really think laying off even more government workers will get the economy going again? Or is he just repeating his perception of what the Beltway media thinks is “centrist”?

  • Teddy Goodson

    will not, repeat NOT, induce them to start hiring, according to a front page article in today’s NY Times. While they almost all seemed to like Obama’s Jobs Speech, the business community (at least those not subsumed into the Koch Brothers’ caucus/clique/cabal), said it did not go far enough, and some even hinted at direct employment (my, my, that sounds like the Great Depression’s WPA, CCC—- a Keynesian concept) to get people back to work and pump money into the economy. Tax breaks do not amount to enough to pay for the training costs of new hires, and why would they hire someone new when they don’t have the business to warrant hiring?

    Senator Warner is so… 19th century, despite how he made his money. The idea of “radical centrist” is gobbledegook. Besides, “center” is a moving target, as the Republicans lurch ever further rightward—- what used to be rightly considered “center” has become “left,” and the new center is more or less old moderate Republican with a dash of Dixiecrat (more than a dash, as time passes, and the rightward drift continues).

  • KathyinBlacksburg

    that their love is conditional.  Until that happens, we are stuck with more of the same.  He needs to decide whether his flinging of the FAUX News term “fair and balanced” is or will be anything about fairness.  If he thinks his current course is about fundamental fairness, then he may be in for a surprise when he’s up for re-election, much less an ego-driven run for the presidency in 2016.  He got virtually no interest last time.  Is is easy to understand why. A more boring, robotic speaker would be hard to find. And he really has nothing to say except empty rhetoric plus a few code words signifying “let them eat cake.”