FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Economy Without Escape Routes

by ALAN FARAGO

My Republican friends are all trending toward Conspiracy Theories to explain what happened and what is happening to the US economy. The party of wealth creation and free markets presided over the greatest wealth destruction in a century, and there must be some explanation. It couldn’t happen without some invisible hand. Whose could it be?

The military industrial complex? Mostly Republican. The bankers. Republican. Insurers and financial engineers. Republican. Detroit auto executives? The brainiacs who wanted to hobble government by throttling regulatory capacity. Republican. It is a bad time to be a Republican. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not giving the Democrats a free pass. Far from it.

But to watch the Republican leaders in Congress walk en masse to the evening news microphones and solemnly say what America needs is tax cuts, and to hear their talk show bloviators hope that President Obama fails– all this, in his first week– well, it is a performance in spitting sand.

Among wealthy Republicans, who needs a tax cut when stock market losses will dramatically lower their April taxes and in years to come? The rest of America doesn’t need a tax cut: America needs jobs, confidence and security. And, for thinking Republicans, cutting taxes at a time of severe recession makes no more sense than cutting taxes in a time of war. Which happened, of course, thanks to incurious George W. Bush.

To my Republican friends: don’t turn your back on President Obama and his administration’s efforts; necessary responses to emergencies your policies triggered. Yes I know Robert Rubin and President Clinton did Wall Street’s work in the 1990’s. The wheels came off the wagon when you were driving it: you just look worse for denial. If you are going to be the minority party, the party of opposition, then stand for something constructive by supporting new industries, independent science, efficient government, and, above all, transparency and accountability in the disposition of a trillion dollars or more of future obligations to taxpayers. Don’t whine about the nationalization of industries when the seeds of market failure were planted on your watch. Abjure the fraud and corruption that took over Wall Street. Reject the K Street Project and its monoculture of greed. And if you really want to do something productive: meaningful campaign finance reform.

I wonder how many private jets hiding in hangers belong to Republicans. There are no escape routes for 99 percent of Americans from the peril we are in. Think about it: if the Democrats fail– as you apparently hope they will– the GOP could inherit an even greater mess than the one we are in. Cutting taxes is going to be the last thing on anyone’s mind should that happen. So. Mess up your hair styles in front of the cameras. Loosen your ties. And look contrite for a change. To err is human, to forgive is divine.

ALAN FARAGO, who writes on the environment and politics from Coral Gables, Florida, and can be reached at alanfarago@yahoo.com

Alan Farago is president of Friends of the Everglades and can be reached at afarago@bellsouth.net

Weekend Edition
February 12-14, 2016
Andrew Levine
What Next in the War on Clintonism?
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Comedy of Terrors: When in Doubt, Bomb Syria
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh – Anthony A. Gabb
Financial Oligarchy vs. Feudal Aristocracy
Paul Street
When Plan A Meets Plan B: Talking Politics and Revolution with the Green Party’s Jill Stein
Rob Urie
The (Political) Season of Our Discontent
Pepe Escobar
It Takes a Greek to Save Europa
Gerald Sussman
Why Hillary Clinton Spells Democratic Party Defeat
Carol Norris
What Do Hillary’s Women Want? A Psychologist on the Clinton Campaign’s Women’s Club Strategy
Robert Fantina
The U.S. Election: Any Good News for Palestine?
Linda Pentz Gunter
Radioactive Handouts: the Nuclear Subsidies Buried Inside Obama’s “Clean” Energy Budget
Michael Welton
Lenin, Putin and Me
Manuel García, Jr.
Fire in the Hole: Bernie and the Cracks in the Neo-Liberal Lid
Thomas Stephens
The Flint River Lead Poisoning Catastrophe in Historical Perspective
David Rosen
When Trump Confronted a Transgender Beauty
Will Parrish
Cap and Clear-Cut
Victor Grossman
Coming Cutthroats and Parting Pirates
Ben Terrall
Raw Deals: Challenging the Sharing Economy
David Yearsley
Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Formation: Form-Fitting Uniforms of Revolution and Commerce
David Mattson
Divvying Up the Dead: Grizzly Bears in a Post-ESA World
Matthew Stevenson
Confessions of a Primary Insider
Jeff Mackler
Friedrichs v. U.S. Public Employee Unions
Franklin Lamb
Notes From Tehran: Trump, the Iranian Elections and the End of Sanctions
Pete Dolack
More Unemployment and Less Security
Christopher Brauchli
The Cruzifiction of Michael Wayne Haley
Bill Quigley
Law on the Margins: a Profile of Social Justice Lawyer Chaumtoli Huq
Uri Avnery
A Lady With a Smile
Katja Kipping
The Opposite of Transparency: What I Didn’t Read in the TIPP Reading Room
B. R. Gowani
Hellish Woman: ISIS’s Granny Endorses Hillary
Kent Paterson
The Futures of Whales and Humans in Mexico
James Heddle
Why the Current Nuclear Showdown in California Should Matter to You
Michael Howard
Hollywood’s Grotesque Animal Abuse
Steven Gorelick
Branding Tradition: a Bittersweet Tale of Capitalism at Work
Nozomi Hayase
Assange’s UN Victory and Redemption of the West
Patrick Bond
World Bank Punches South Africa’s Poor, by Ignoring the Rich
Mel Gurtov
Is US-Russia Engagement Still Possible?
Dan Bacher
Governor Jerry Brown Receives Cold, Dead Fish Award Four Years In A Row
Wolfgang Lieberknecht
Fighting and Protecting Refugees
Jennifer Matsui
Doglegs, An Unforgettable Film
Soud Sharabani
Israeli Myths: An Interview with Ramzy Baroud
Terry Simons
Bernie? Why Not?
Missy Comley Beattie
When Thoughtful People Think Illogically
Christy Rodgers
Everywhere is War: Luke Mogelson’s These Heroic, Happy Dead: Stories
Ron Jacobs
Springsteen: Rockin’ the House in Albany, NY
Barbara Nimri Aziz
“The Martian”: This Heroism is for Chinese Viewers Too
Charles R. Larson
No Brainers: When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail