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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Republican Incredible Lack of Credibility

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 07/27/11 10:29

by Alan Anderson

I believe we are playing with fire. Some Republican leaders tell us that failing to raise the debt limit won?t really hurt our economy. Then they tell us they have a plan to eliminate $1 trillion in expenses?and an independent government budget office suggests they are off by $150 billion dollars. Could it be that they aren?t always correct? The fact is, they have consistently been wrong in predicting the future. Part of the reason is they deal with ideals, not with what is real.

History and reality seem to undermine their beliefs. For example, these leaders and their party believed that reducing taxes on the wealthy and reducing government regulation would lead to a strong, robust economy. History and reality show us it led to the worst recession since the Great Depression, with trillions lost in property values, millions losing their homes to foreclosure, millions losing their jobs, and an unemployment rate that has remained high for several years.

These leaders and their party believed the Iraq war would be short, cost few lives, and be paid for by Iraqi oil revenues. History and reality tell us the war will cost $4 trillion dollars, cost the lives of more than 5000 Americans and 300,000 Iraqis, and last almost a decade with no real end in sight. These leaders told us that deregulating businesses would result in a safer environment. History and reality tell us the BP disaster in the Gulf and the Massey mining disaster killing almost 30 people could have been avoided with tighter regulation by people not connected to the industries they oversee. These leaders told us that a government economic stimulus package would not create jobs and would have a negative effect on the economy. History and reality tell us that hundreds of thousands of jobs in education and other areas were preserved and that the American auto industry was saved from bankruptcy. General Motors success is a sign that the stimulus worked as intended.

These leaders told us that shutting down government by fighting to keep the wealthiest Minnesotans and Americans from paying a penny more in taxes or raising our debt ceiling would not harm the economy and create further problems. History and reality suggest Minnesota?s credit rating has already been lowered, Moodys is considering reducing the rating on US credit, and thousands of government and private sector workers have lost their jobs or will lose their jobs soon. California has arranged to borrow more than $5 billion dollars to deal with a potential government default.

We have a real dilemma. Some of our leaders believe in pure ideals, that simply cutting taxes, spending, and government regulation will produce economic and social benefit. History and reality suggest that this is not the case. It appears that no amount of reality or history will change their minds and attitudes, and they appear willing to let the majority of the states and nation suffer the real consequences of their rigid thinking. Time will tell the outcome of this division of beliefs and lack of reality. History and reality suggest their long tradition of errors will continue; that they will incredibly continue their lack of credibility.
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