Thursday, April 7, 2011
GOP budgets aren't any better with numbers in them, actually
Item the first: the budget plan involves so much cutting that it could piss away as many as 200,000 to a mind-blowing 700,00 jobs. This would be a really dumb thing to want to do, coming out of a recession. People need jobs to afford to do necessary things like eat and take care of themselves and their families. Surely, the GOP doesnt mean to have even more Americans out of work, out of luck, out of their homes, out on the street and suffering? (Actually, maybe they do. I don't pretend to be the big expert on what they consider "winning" these days.)
Item the second: according to the CBO (Congressional Budget Office, y'know--the numbers-crunchers), the whole budget is built with "rubber inches"--flexible and disturbingly charitable numbers, that expect unheard-of growth and bizarrely-low unemployment figures--but the most absurd and insulting parts are where the budget actually would increase the federal debt, and stick seniors with an unpleasantly large health care liability (oh, and it doesn't do a damn thing to ensure against the increase of health care costs--actually, I forsee it being sooooooo much more likely to raise all kinds of private health care insurance costs, that young master Ryan should just stand in a corner for turning in a bad assignment that shows little effort and still less paying attention in the class of what happens economically in the real world.).
This is what a faith-based budget looks like, and it is not a pretty picture for reality-based people. Sadly, this spectacle of a budget has been praised by several journalism-majors residing in Washington, pretty much verifying my curmudgeonly attitude towards people who fear math. It's creative! It's courageous!
Oh, screw that! It's a sad sign that after preaching the free market, Randian gospel for so long, finally we've come to a generation of GOP-ers that seems to not only want to pitch it to the rubes, but believes in it. Where, oh, where, is the cynicism of Republicans past? Where are the people with whom we could reason?
It's looking like Speaker Boehner, in whom so much trust has been places that even I get a little choked up, may not be that guy, either. Although even Tea Party favorite Michele Bachmann has stated that the goal isn't a shut-down of government, it's altogether possible it may still happen.
And what of a shutdown of our government, while we are participating in military action overseas? While historically, it hasn't really endeared the country to the party perceived as initiating it? While it is clear that such a shutdown in the midst of economic vulnerability could even itself precipitate a "double-dip" recession? Why would any party think like this? Sure, the ideas of the modern conservative movement (which is neither modern, conservative, nor a movement) are flawed--but why should they embrace failure to such a shocking degree?
I think it's in the hopes of pinning the epic fail on Obama. I think they really are following Mitch McConnell's dictum that Obama delenda est (not that I mean to make McConnell of all people out as a modern-day Cato!) But I have to believe that most people are smarter than that. Watching the transparent fuckery, for example, that's going on in Wisconsin, and how it looks like people are waking up to what a bad agenda looks like, I'm actually getting a little less cynical--maybe people will realize that the GOP plan is about doing the economy wrong, and the debate they want to push on the debt is actually the furthest thing from "serious". It's political, because at base--they have nothing else.
Not even the damn numbers.