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.
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:
-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?
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.