Crisis Management By Ideology

Crisis Management By Ideology

The Dems want to bail out citizens who can’t work during this pandemic because their employers have had to close down. They can’t pay mortgages or rent, utilities, college loans, buy groceries and medicines. The way things are set up, if you can’t pay you can’t stay, and you end up in bankruptcy. Small businesses face the same problems on a slightly larger scale and if they can’t reopen then the downstream repercussions will be dire. We are a consumer economy. If no one consumes the economy dies.

Dems say start at the bottom and take care of everyone and maybe not worry so much about the people at the top who have been bailed out and had tax cuts and have banked some really enormous profits. (Except they didn’t bank their profits, what they did was stock buy backs – and now they want more bail-out money.) Dems say rescue everyone, even those who are the poorest people – no means testing. Just flood the bottom with money, both citizens and small business, because money may not trickle down, but a depressed economy can definitely rise from the bottom up.

Yes there are progressive Dems. We’re in the middle of an election. Republicans do not have a progressive bone in their bodies, even dispossessed Republicans who currently have no party. Giving people money means that a Democratic ideology gets a positive vote in Congress. And that goes against everything Republicans believe. They have almost achieved their small government goals. They were ready to cut the safety net the way a winning basketball team gets to cut down the net from the backboard. They have insisted that the coronavirus should be managed in the states, by the states and for the states. They are already having to back off on this policy because the needs are too great for the states to handle without federal help. And now they want Republicans to give away money to hoi polloi which, to them, is like throwing it into a waste basket. They just cannot understand that supporting the economy from the bottom up could help give it a jump start when we are done with social distancing.

There is little taste for rescuing rich folks once again. They have not exactly showered their good fortunes down on the rest of us and if there was a trickle it was so tiny as to be untraceable. The Republicans also want carte blanche over who they will rescue. They want the Treasury Department to be able to disperse the funds as they wish. This is something the Dems can’t swallow having already watched companies spend their windfalls on buying back their own stock and lavishing the dividends of their good fortune on stockholders rather than workers. They were able to ramp up production and hire back workers but this is not actually trickle down as salaries rose very little, although it certainly benefited all of us as good economies always do.

It comes down to the “spendthrift” habits of the Democrats who think a good economy must take care of everyone, not just CEO’s, those progressive socialists as the Republicans like to label them. If Democrats are such spendthrifts then why does the deficit go down when Democrats are in charge? Check it out. Historically that has been true.

Republicans feel that those on the bottom need to struggle more, that this will inspire them to rise, although it is easy to see that this policy is far more likely to cause despair and depression. Republicans have been implementing their ideology of small government, give power back to the states, but some states are so poor that we will have to rescue them from the novel coronavirus or we will all drown in grief. How is Republican small government working? It ended that Pandemic Program (that got folded into another program) and could not function at all when most needed. The Republican ideology is what we are experiencing right now and it is failing miserably. Yet Republicans refuse to pass a stimulus that addresses the needs of both the top and the bottom because it is against their deeply flawed ideology.

But the face of this pandemic, the people who own it on TV every day, are the Republicans. If Republican Senators do to American once again what you are planning to do, insist on only helping those who are wealthy I swear you will lose the 2020 election so badly that your party may not recover for decades. Most Americans know nothing about ideology and they will not care if your stimulus does not stand up to your conservative purity tests. If it works you will be heroes. As a Democrat, if it wouldn’t have such dire consequences for America, I would be happy to watch Republicans go down in flames. But as a human being I have to argue for what is right, which is neither progressive nor conservative, but somewhere in the middle. We so need to see the back of Mitch McConnell.

The president also has an ideology. It is money. It is the economy. It is the stock market. The president thinks that in 15 days America will be restored to normality, I guess by royal decree. Fate does seem to favor Trump and perhaps, once again, the universe will comply with his edicts. I would love this to be over in fifteen days. The only thing I would hate about it is that our resident egomaniac would claim it a personal victory. And he would get his heart’s desire (why is it his heart’s desire) to be reelected in 2020. To try to unravel a pandemic in the midst of an election in a divided America puts us all at risk because those who are supposed to represent us have their intellect clouded by their ideology, which prevents rational, reasoned, targeted action, and literally kills Americans and possibly the American economy.

Photo Credit: From a Google Image Search – The Hill

Deals That Are Not Deals

It used to be that when a deal was done in Congress
each side gave a little so that each side won something and lost something. It
was not always pretty. There were terrible arguments. Enemies were made. But
compromises were arrived at. The way the Republicans try to do deals lately
(whether they have a majority or not) would be laughable if it weren’t so
maddening, so impossible, and so sad.
Republicans write legislation with a really bitter
pill and a slightly less bitter pill and then they present it as if it were a
gift-wrapped package instead of a flaming bag of poo. Or they might attach a
poison pill to a bill that has bipartisan appeal and then Democrats have to
vote against something they really want in order to avoid something really
toxic. The recent bill against human trafficking was a bill that had bipartisan
appeal and is the kind of law that usually makes us proud that Americans care about
human rights. But the Hyde Amendment got tucked into the human trafficking bill
so that Republicans could be sure to remind us that no federal funds can be
spent on abortion (which is legal by the way) even for a victim of human
trafficking. The bill gave with one hand and took away with the other.
Republicans knew all along that the Democrats would not vote for this bill with
the Hyde amendment attached. They hoped the Democrats wouldn’t notice.
Admittedly, the Democrats almost didn’t notice. They
should have read the bill way before they did. However, we have no clue about
when the Hyde Amendment snuck its way into the trafficking bill.  Now Republicans are ticked off. Their ploy did
not work. They blame the Democrats, but I think we can all see how the GOP took
a calculated risk and lost.
In a snit about not getting their Hyde Amendment
past the Democrats they now threaten to, one more time, postpone their approval
for Loretta Lynch to take the place of the current Attorney General, Eric
Holder, who they don’t even like. They have a hostage and she is their last one
so they have to make sure to use her to their best advantage. But Loretta Lynch
is very well qualified to be AG and has done nothing to deserve the treatment
she has received from the GOP. They are using Loretta Lynch to punish Obama for
everything he has ever done or ever will do as President, apparently.
Now that the trafficking bill vote is done, Congress
is moving on to the budget. The GOP is offering the exact same Paul Ryan budget
(perhaps with minor tweaks) that supposedly balances the U. S. budget in ten
years but leaves America with no social safety net. They are very much aware of
the fact that Democrats have basic ideological differences with the Ryan
budget. They are very much aware that economists feel the Paul Ryan budget
numbers offer an austerity that will not provide economic growth in America.
Economists tell us that this budget will worsen the economic inequality gap
between the wealthy and the rest of us. The only increase in the GOP budget is
in the area of defense where experts have said increases are not needed.
Republicans do not plan to abandon the Sequester
which is scheduled to continue taking its bite out of the lives of those who
are already at the bottom of the economic heap. The Republicans know that
Democrats cannot approve this budget. They do not agree that the meanness of
this budget is necessary and they do not subscribe to the theory that ending
social programs will force people to lift themselves up. Democrats do not
believe that government is useless and that private business will provide all
the services that our government once provided. We will stop paying as many
taxes but will pay private businesses to provide services like health care for
seniors and education. We will be like the miners who have to buy everything
from the company store owned by our employers. And we want to do that because
it worked so well the first time around?

What good will it do to balance the budget in ten
years if we do so by cutting everything that makes America a great country for “we
the people”. This budget deal is not a deal. The GOP offers only “our way or
the highway”. They only offer straight up Republican ideology. There is no
bargaining room here. Either you accept the beliefs and policies of the GOP or
they will take us over another cliff. (Actually we have to wait to find out
what threat they’ll use this time.) The only brake we have right now is that
the GOP does not want to show how much they favor the wealthy and how much all
their plans rely on the supposed (but never real) advantages of “trickle-down
economics” before they win the election and get control of all three branches
of government in 2016. Once Americas get a load of this budget in action they
will never vote for the Republicans.
By Nancy Brisson