‘the end of the new deal?’

Robert Shrum (The Week): …Barack Obama entered his presidency only months into the financial crisis. Compounded by the pressures of a hyper-media age, the public mood didn’t accord him many months before punishing him and his party in the midterm elections for a recovery that was taking hold but not fast enough, a recovery still more a statistical artifact than a fact of people’s lives. There are now more convincing signs of economic revival, which could yield decisive and Democratic dividends in 2012 — if the results of the 2010 elections don’t stall a reverse in growth and job creation.

…The GOP offered Americans a scapegoat in the recent campaign: A government doing big things in the face of a grave challenge was turned into the Big Bad Government. The very government that was preventing catastrophe was portrayed as causing it….

The wintry weeks of December did see a brief season of bipartisan compromise. But now the GOP, in the House and in newly captured state capitals, is marching relentlessly to the far right. That course won’t advance the economy…

In the House of Representatives, where John Boehner is less speaker than servitor of the Tea Party, the GOP has passed a budget resolution that begins the rollback. It slashes education; unemploys teachers, police, and potentially millions of others; and shreds the fabric of the safety social net, taking the most from those who have the least. The measure attempts to undo basic environmental, consumer, and financial regulation by defunding the regulators. Next on the chopping block, if Republican House budget guru Paul Ryan has his way, will be Medicare and Social Security, the heart of the New Deal legacy.

As economics, the reactionary spasm makes no sense. The evidence is already there. After two years of Obamanomics, forecasts for U.S. growth are being revised upward. At the same time, in the wake of sudden and sharp retrenchment in Britain, what’s rising is unemployment; growth is falling and house prices are predicted to plummet again. But as ideology, the Republican policy makes perfect sense — and presents a perfect opportunity for the true believers who were vanquished during the New Deal and decades afterwards. They lied about health reform — from nonexistent “death panels” to nonexistent cuts in Medicare benefits for the elderly. The Republicans opposed the bill and now propose to defund it. But what the House just passed goes far beyond that: It’s a draconian down payment on dismembering the architecture of social justice and corporate responsibility in America.

Full article here

Thank you Ladyhawke

3 Responses to “‘the end of the new deal?’”

  1. 1 DoNoHarm
    March 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    With the influx of TPartiers in the House, I can understand their enthusiasm in cutting funding. After all, they need their support to get reelected after their 2-year term. Nice cushy job, pension, all they have to do is what they’re told to do. It’s in the Senate that we have to become vocal. I’m anxious to see what Dems are going to support President Obama and his ‘for our future’ program. I’m going to see who supports education, Planned Parenthood, tax cuts, etc., etc. Then it’s also important to let the Republicans, Independents to get a feel of what a U.S. thinks; their thoughts on the avenues they’re taking. We’re also waiting to see the POTUS andhis stand on Social Security. He best not cave in on this one–no compromise. The SS program has nothing to do with the deficit. Bottom line is to support our POTUS.

    • 2 Sue in Minnesota
      March 1, 2011 at 5:10 pm

      DoNoHarm, everything I have heard President Obama discuss with respect to Social Security leads me to believe he will protect it.
      He has stated it may need some minor tweaks, which seems to me to be a reasonable expectation in a fluid, continually changing enviornment. My impression is that people have failed to actively listen to President Obama when he has addressed the issue of social security. Instead, based on speculation they have blown life into “the catfood commission” hysteria, a meme that has little or no basis in fact.

      I find the term “cave” an unfortunate and misleading word choice, particularily in light of a system that is defined as deliberative, and designed to garner results via a negotiation process. Zero-sum politics is how Republicans want to play the game, trouble is legislating is not a winner take all game. It’s not a game, period. Compromise is not caving.

      Sorry, the term “cave” pushes my reactor button, I find it’s implication of weakness both unsupported by reality and irritating.

  2. 3 Ladyhawke
    March 1, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    This post from The Reid Report is excellent and spot on. The more we see of this kind of reporting, the better.



    – Excerpts –

    Republicans have a problem. It’s not entirely clear if they realize it yet, but it is a very real problem. And what is that problem: people can’t stand them when they actually get in power.
    Well, basically, it’s conservatism. Conservatism is by nature, negative. It opposes things, like minimum wage and child labor laws, collective bargaining, old age pensions, Medicare, and spending. On that last one, the trouble for Republicans is that people tell pollsters they don’t like spending, but they also love the results of spending — public schools and libraries, aid to the poor, roads without potholes, mail that gets delivered to your door without a fee… Americans like the fruits of spending. Republicans keep saying they want to cut spending, particularly spending that helps children, old people and the poor – and while that makes for great campaign rhetoric as a general princple (before you get into the specificis about the children and the old people and the poor), when it actually starts to happen, people hate it.

    Which brings us to Wisconsin.

    Read more at….


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