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

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
Weekend Edition
July 31-33, 2015
Jeffrey St. Clair
Bernie and the Sandernistas
John Pilger
Julian Assange: the Untold Story of an Epic Struggle for Justice
Roberto J. González – David Price
Remaking the Human Terrain: The US Military’s Continuing Quest to Commandeer Culture
Lawrence Ware
Bernie Sanders’ Race Problem
Andrew Levine
The Logic of Illlogic: Narrow Self-Interest Keeps Israel’s “Existential Threats” Alive
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Kos, Bodrum, Desperate Refugees and a Dying Child
Paul Street
“That’s Politics”: the Sandernistas on the Master’s Schedule
Ted Rall
How the LAPD Conspired to Get Me Fired from the LA Times
Mike Whitney
Power-Mad Erdogan Launches War in Attempt to Become Turkey’s Supreme Leader
Ellen Brown
The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion
Stephen Lendman
Russia Challenges America’s Orwellian NED
Will Parrish
The Politics of California’s Water System
John Wight
The Murder of Ali Saad Dawabsha, a Palestinian Infant Burned Alive by Israeli Terrorists
Jeffrey Blankfort
Leading Bibi’s Army in the War for Washington
Geoffrey McDonald
Obama’s Overtime Tweak: What is the Fair Price of a Missed Life?
Brian Cloughley
Hypocrisy, Obama-Style
Robert Fantina
Israeli Missteps Take a Toll
Pete Dolack
Speculators Circling Puerto Rico Latest Mode of Colonialism
Ron Jacobs
Spying on Black Writers: the FB Eye Blues
Paul Buhle
The Leftwing Seventies?
Binoy Kampmark
The TPP Trade Deal: of Sovereignty and Secrecy
David Swanson
Vietnam, Fifty Years After Defeating the US
Robert Hunziker
Human-Made Evolution
Shamus Cooke
Why Obama’s “Safe Zone” in Syria Will Inflame the War Zone
David Rosen
Hillary Clinton: Learn From Your Sisters
Sam Husseini
How #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter Can Devalue Life
Shepherd Bliss
Why I Support Bernie Sanders for President
Louis Proyect
Manufacturing Denial
Howard Lisnoff
The Wrong Argument
Tracey Harris
Living Tiny: a Richer and More Sustainable Future
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
A Day of Tears: Report from the “sHell No!” Action in Portland
Tom Clifford
Guns of August: the Gulf War Revisited
Renee Lovelace
I Dream of Ghana
Colin Todhunter
GMOs: Where Does Science Begin and Lobbying End?
Ben Debney
Modern Newspeak Dictionary, pt. II
Christopher Brauchli
Guns Don’t Kill People, Immigrants Do and Other Congressional Words of Wisdom
S. Mubashir Noor
India’s UNSC Endgame
Ellen Taylor
The Voyage of the Golden Rule
Norman Ball
Ten Questions for Lee Drutman: Author of “The Business of America is Lobbying”
Franklin Lamb
Return to Ma’loula, Syria
Masturah Alatas
Six Critics in Search of an Author
Mark Hand
Cinéma Engagé: Filmmaker Chronicles Texas Fracking Wars
Mary Lou Singleton
Gender, Patriarchy, and All That Jazz
Patrick Hiller
The Icebreaker and #ShellNo: How Activists Determine the Course
Charles Larson
Tango Bends Its Gender: Carolina De Robertis’s “The Gods of Tango”