A Pox on Both Your Houses

July 31st, 2011

There will be a bunch of upcoming punditry in the media about which party got the better deal and which political party benefits more from the shameful Republican debt ceiling episode, but one thing’s for sure: the loser was the American people’s faith in the political system to solve the problems of this country.

A movement that represents a reactionary minority of Americans has effectively taken over the Republican party and used a technicality that a majority of Americans have never heard of in order to create a crisis that tied up the government for months with a ridiculous debate about whether the United States should decline to pay the bills that were run up by presidents of both parties over decades.

Mewanwhile, back in the real world, unemployment is at 9.2% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but measures of “real” unemployment (including people who stopped looking and the underemployed) are closer to 16%.  A majority of Americans want to balance the budget, but this is a long term issue, not a short term issue, and you would be hard pressed to find many economists who would tell you that cutting government funding (AKA jobs) in a recession is a way to spur economic growth.

Remember when the Democrats took over in 2008 and spent a year arguing about health care when the country was in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression? Well, this is like that, but even worse. The Democrats failing at that time was ignoring the public’s desire for a strong focus on jobs. Not only have the Republicans not done one single thing to foster job creation in the United States since they were elected, they have actually done the opposite by threatening to set off a world economic crisis in order to get their way. 

My sense is that the whole “let’s hold the world economic system hostage to our narrow ideological agenda strategy” hurts the Republicans more than it hurts the President, but this should be little consolation for Obama, who’s approval rating dropped to a new low of 40 percent in this weekend’s Gallup Poll.

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