I’m sure most everyone is aware of the saying that goes something like, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Well, I’m sure most everyone who isn’t a Republican has heard that saying. Conservatives seem unable to learn from history and often seem eager to repeat it.
After over thirty years of trickle down economic failures, massive tax breaks and deep spending cuts on social programs all we’ve see happen is:
- The rich have gotten richer.
- The middle class has shrunk.
- The income gap between the “haves” and “have nots” has drastically grown.
- Our national debt has skyrocketed out of control.
- Outsourcing American jobs has become an epidemic.
Just to name a few of the negatives that have plagued our country the last 3+ decades.
Hell, let’s just look at recent history and what top-down economics brought us. After 8 years of George W. Bush, where we were promised tax cuts would take us to unheard of prosperity and a balanced budget, the exact opposite actually happened. Our economy crashed and our national debt doubled. Yet Republicans continue to insist the best way to grow our economy is more of the same policies that led us head-on into the worst recession in nearly a century.
Then, since 2008 and the election of President Obama, Republicans have doubled down on pursuing more tax cuts and more spending cuts with the same old promise that they’ll bring us to economic prosperity.
But let’s just be real. The rich are not hurting in this country. The top 1-2% of Americans are doing better than at any time in our nation’s history. It’s everyone else that’s suffered. You’d think this would be more than enough evidence to change the minds of conservatives about their economic ideology, but sadly it hasn’t. I guess that’s what happens when you support a political party that resembles a cult more than something political.
Well, it seems President Obama has had enough, and it’s about damn time. While speaking about the coming budget debate, he’s taken to telling Republicans that he doesn’t want to hear the “same old stuff.”
But he didn’t stop there. He also called out the GOP for purposely shutting down our government for a political stunt, which cost our economy billions, while saying we don’t have the money to invest in programs like education:
“I don’t want to hear the same old stuff about how America can’t afford to invest in the things that have always made us strong. Don’t tell me we can afford to shut down the government, which costs our economy billions of dollars, but we can’t afford to invest in our education systems, because there’s nothing more important than this.”
And he’s right.
It’s what has always driven me crazy about the worn out line Republicans seem to endlessly repeat about being the party for “fiscal responsibility.” No they’re not. There hasn’t been a Republican president who’s balanced the budget since Eisenhower in the 1950s, so spare me this talk about Republicans and their drive for “fiscal conservatism.”
Time and time again Republicans have shown that they have no problem wasting tons of money, as long as that spending benefits the rich, big oil or their attempts to turn the United States into a theocracy.
It’s only when money needs to be spent on the poor or middle class, then Republicans suddenly say we can’t afford that. Offer a tax cut for the rich, which would drastically increase our deficits, and Republicans wouldn’t blink and eye to support that bill. But try to remove billions in subsidies for big oil companies earning record profits, and you’ll be hard pressed to find more than a handful of conservatives who would support such an idea.
I just hope that heading into the next budget showdown in January, we see more of the President Obama who calls out Republicans on their ridiculous rhetoric. I hope he continues to press them for being the party that’s out of touch, trying to balance our budgets on the backs of the poor for the benefit of the rich.
I guess time will tell, but so far I like the tone I’m hearing from the president.