How Anti-Obama Republicans Will Bring On a Stock Market Crash
Harold Camping had it wrong. The world didn’t end on May 21st. But it will on August 2nd—at least America’s fiscal world will if the Republican leadership continues its refusal to raise the debt ceiling by then. Why is it being so intractably reckless? Well, it’s solely because, in the words of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” He didn’t say the single most important thing the Republicans want is a balanced budget or full employment or victory in the war on terror or an end to crime. He said they want to destroy the President’s political career. He, along with others like House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Senate Majority Whip Jon Kyl, is willing to destroy the American economy in the process, while carrying the polluted water for the obscenely rich.
The filthy rich are getting richer, and the Republican middle class is cheering on the sidelines. Even Warren Buffet, who is a billionaire 50 times over, conceded that his secretary pays a higher percentage of income tax than he does. Are you kidding me? No. Sadly, I’m not. How can the Republican base accept this? Why would it encourage, even promote, a policy that goes against its own self-interest? Ask its leadership. Actually, there’s no need to ask because they already told you. The monetary crisis has everything to do with President Obama and nothing to do with any principled opposition to the raising of the debt ceiling. If it did, then why did the Four Horsemen of The Financial Apocalypse all vote for a debt ceiling increase 19 times during the Bush Administration, thereby ballooning the national debt by nearly four trillion dollars to almost $10 trillion by the end of Bush’s term? At no time then did this Republican quartet request any accompanying drastic spending cuts as they’re screaming for now. In fact, on the very same day that the May 2003 debt ceiling was increased by $900 billion to $7.4 trillion, they and the entire Senate also voted to approve $350 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy. Talk about literally adding insult to injury!
As documented by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Bush tax cuts will add $3.4 trillion in deficits by 2019 and another $1.7 trillion in interest on the federal debt. Moreover, those cuts didn’t result in a prosperous economy or employment surge. Quite the contrary, according to the Center, they led to “the weakest jobs and income growth in the post-war period.”
While the GOP wants to extend the Bush tax cuts by, for example, allowing deductions for yachts and private jets and subsidies for oil and gas conglomerates like Exxon Mobil, which recently reported a quarterly profit increase of 70 percent (more than $10 billion in three months), Obama wants tax cuts only for Republican families and all other American families who earn less than $250,000 per year and individuals who earn less than $200,000, meaning 98 percent of all U.S. taxpayers. Just a one-year lapse of the Bush tax cuts for the members of the “quarter million dollar plus” club is worth more than twice as much in deficit reduction as the cuts inflicted on programs for low-income families combined. Furthermore, only—and I repeat only—the richest two percent will pay more in income taxes under Obama’s proposal. The last time the top income tax rate was even close to what he’s seeking, it was during Clinton’s tenure when this country had higher employment, increased incomes, a budget surplus, and a vibrant economy. A pretty fair deal for the middle class and the poor, huh? So why the Republican virulent opposition to Obama’s budgetary initiative? I already told you, dammit.
Representative Michele Bachmann, who has the chutzpah to believe that she has the intellectual capacity to be president and who had the chutzpah on national TV to pronounce chutzpah as “chutt-spa” (really, I’m not joking) says that Obama is picking on the poor little ole rich folks and that, “We’re running out of rich people in this country.” (Really, once again, I’m not joking.) However, one in three billionaires is an American. In fact, we have 413 of them. And the millionaire population here actually jumped by eight percent last year to 3.1 million millionaires in America in 2010, with a combined wealth of $11.6 trillion. I guess she meant they are running out of places to stash all that loot.
Not all prominent Republicans are doing the wealthy’s dirty work. Alan Greenspan and David Stockman, who was the Office of Management and Budget director during the Reagan administration, have called on Congress to let the Bush tax cuts expire and to allow income tax rates to return to the levels that existed during the Clinton years—only a mere four percent from what Obama is seeking.
Raising the debt ceiling is not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue. It is an American issue, regardless of whether you love or hate or like or dislike the man who happens to be the current President of the United States of America. Although the Republican leaders continue to make it clear that they are out to hurt Obama, their temper-tantrum recalcitrance will wind up crippling America. Left up to them, on August 2nd the stock market will crash. Home values will decrease. Soldiers, FBI agents, and federal judges won’t get paid. Veterans Affairs and Social Security checks won’t be mailed. Retirement accounts will be depleted. Unemployment and interest rates will increase.
Rescuing the rich and drowning the middle class and the poor is a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it. Thank god for the Republican leadership and those who vote for ’em.