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Cornered by realities they can’t accept
Republicans are back to hostage-taking

No GOPHouse Speaker John Boehner and most Republicans in Congress know very well that cutting taxes won’t create jobs. Businesses won’t hire people to stand around waiting to take care of customers who aren’t showing up to spend their money, even if the businesses have some more money because of tax cuts.

Businesses hire more people when those new hires are needed to take care of customers and make the businesses more money, period.

Boehner and the rest of the Republicans are solely interested in politics, not in governing responsibly. What’s more, they’re in the position of being forced to acknowledge their cherished trickle-down cover story is nothing but a political meme. They really don’t want to do that.

Tax revenues from rate increases on those who can well afford to pay more would enable increased government stimulus spending without running up the deficit. Increased demand thus created would lead to more hiring and more government revenues with which to reduce the deficit — without cutting essential programs along the way.

That formula for restoring economic growth and prosperity is eminently doable. It would yield a payoff for all Americans, the wealthiest included, greatly outweighing any short-run discomfort and risk involved.

Oh wait; that was a bit of an overstatement. That formula would benefit all Americans except Republican politicians and doctrinaire radical conservatives. It’s not hard to understand why.

The relatively simple, well-established formula for economic turnaround we described would really whipsaw Republicans politically. Its success would show their trickle-down meme for the con job it’s always been while verifying that we can’t budget-cut our way to prosperity. Quite the opposite, in fact.

This is Republicans’ dilemma. It’s the sole reason they won’t take Obama’s initial deal.

What’s required of Republicans means a worst-nightmare scenario for them. Because they’re thoroughly selfish and irresponsible, solely concerned with their own political fortunes, and because they have just enough power left to stand in the way, they’re holding the whole country hostage.



Note: This post is a modified version of the comment we left yesterday to a good post at the TAO Speaks blog.



  1. Tom Harper says:

    But higher taxes would be unfair to the Job Creators. No country has ever taxed its way to prosperity 🙂

    You’re right of course. Tax increases on the wealthiest 2% and the resulting stimulus spending would give the lie to 30 years of “trickle down” slogans that Republicans have been hiding behind.

  2. jim marquis says:

    There are two layers of nastiness at play here…not only are the GOP politicians selfish and irresponsible but so are the plutocrats who pay for their campaigns.

  3. S.W. Anderson says:

    Tom, that’s why the 1950’s was such a decade of economic decline, right? 😉

    jim, that’s the political right’s rendition of strength in depth — the Kochs, Adelson, Bob Perry, the U.S. Chamber cabal, et al, standing behind Boehner and McConnell.

  4. Jack Jodell says:

    This long reliance by conservatives on “supply side” economics has been their biggest mistake. It has supplied wealth only to the rich. It is now time for “DEMAND SIDE” economics, where, with enough money restored to workers and the poor, a huge economic boom will result, as the demand for more goods and services will fuel tremendous job growth, more production, more sales, and more profits!

    1. S.W. Anderson says:

      As Molly Ivins said, “We all do better when we all do better.”