Friday, August 17, 2012
As the laissez-faire economics of the Republicans gets codified with the selection of Ryan, making R&R the official stance of the GOP, it leaves some wondering what the implications are of having a Prez who's stated belief (I almost said "who believes", but who knows what he actually feels about anything?), is for the government to become zombi-fied, where all those on the Federal payroll simply collect their paychecks and do nothing, as that's how government works best: By getting out of the way of the private sector, thereby allowing it to wreak whatever havoc on the economy that'll make them more prosperous while it pushes the pee-ons (trickle-down, baby) further and further into intractable debt-slavery.
But although they prefer to liken themselves to that ebullient, great communicator, Ronald Reagan, the self-styled economic miracle dubbed by the Maestro as "The Great Moderation", occurred, not during RR's tenure in the White house, but during GW's. That was when the real RailRoading of the economy came into full bloom.
So then, what was moderated? At the beginning of the Bush presidency, by using his own numbers, I calculated that the National Debt (as opposed to the annual budget deficit) would approximately double such that should he serve 2 terms, it would grow to equal the GDP by the time he left office, and I was damn close to being accurate. It grew from under $5trillion to close to $10trillion. However, the really important dynamic was the rate of growth of those annual deficits vis-a-vis the growth of the GDP, and this legacy, which still remains, had the unstoppable force of a juggernaut.
From 2001 through 2008, an economy, described by GW himself, as robust and resilient when he took office, stagnated and finally crashed to the ground, very nearly bringing the entire global financial system with it. That was a direct result of the "small government" policies of the GOP, premised on the concepts of individual accountability, less government (accountability, as the motto of the day became plausible deniability), and the owning of property, as well as, internationally, full spectrum domination. The deficit, as percentage of GDP, consequently mushroomed from around 1.5% to close to 7%: close to a 5-fold blossoming of debt so astounding, that a Central Banker referring to such a period as "Moderation", great or otherwise, was nothing short of breath-taking..
This rate of debt growth was so alarming, that as early as 2003, 450 economists, including ten Nobel Prize laureates, signed the Economists' statement opposing the Bush tax cuts, sent to President Bush stating that "these tax cuts will worsen the long-term budget outlook... will reduce the capacity of the government to finance Social Security and Medicare benefits as well as investments in schools, health, infrastructure, and basic research... [and] generate further inequalities in after-tax income."
Hello!? That was the plan, so where's the problem? This is exactly what Grover Norquisling had already stated was the GOP's agenda, and still is the GOP's agenda. So the R&R R&R are inviting us to vote for is a return to the policies that very nearly destroyed our entire world. Instead of offering any solutions or ideas, the TEA bag component of the party being very decidely against anything so radical as thought, they offer something they already know will work: drinks on the house.
Like a drunk after one of his sprees, with a really frightful hangover that keeps him all day long with hair unkempt, mouth tasting sour, jaw out of joint, their whole ambition is just to get out of bed late, crawl to the mirror and groan at the sight of the wreck they've made of things, then drag through the day so that, unable to make up their minds whether or not to do any work, by the time they do, the day is lost. This throws their disposition so out of kilter it attracts a lot of lazy bums who won't let go of one's elbow, so you get to tippling in spite of yourself, haunting all sorts of dives, and wind up getting pinched. Then end up pawning your new shoes to get back on your feet.
But instead of calling ourselves stupid for drinking like that, for letting ourselves get so blindly intoxicated on our own home-brew, the GOP solution is to go on another binge. What do you expect? They don't know what they're doing. You can't get mad at them, it wouldn't help a bit. You know how it is when men get drunk They could kill their own father and mother, invade a country or two, and not remember a thing about it. Frat boys gone wild. Who can blame them for a little irrational exuberance?
So while Ryan's plan of physical fitness allows him to boast of a robust buffness, the one for fiscal fitness is simply re-hashed rhetoric. The return of Nibelung economics with the immortal, dynastic rich ensconced in their Valhalla besotted with their own grandeur while Gotterdammerung's flames, that were dampened with ashes thrown on them during the GOP hiatus, will be allowed to flame up once again burning everything they lick into a cinder. Oh well. If that's the price it costs to have a Free Market, Free Enterprise, cascades of cash as Free Speech, then by all means, let freedumb wring.
Posted by Robert Lowrey at 9:57 AM