[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]
Steve Benen (who took over Political Animal from Kevin Drum) explains that the Tea Party agenda is nothing less than a plot to destroy the United States:
NONE DARE CALL IT SABOTAGE…. Consider a thought experiment. Imagine you actively disliked the United States, and wanted to deliberately undermine its economy. What kind of positions would you take to do the most damage?
You might start with rejecting the advice of economists and oppose any kind of stimulus investments. You’d also want to cut spending and take money out of the economy, while blocking funds to states and municipalities, forcing them to lay off more workers. You’d no doubt want to cut off stimulative unemployment benefits, and identify the single most effective jobs program of the last two years (the TANF Emergency Fund) so you could kill it.
You might then take steps to stop the Federal Reserve from trying to lower the unemployment rate. You’d also no doubt want to create massive economic uncertainty by vowing to gut the national health care system, promising to re-write the rules overseeing the financial industry, vowing re-write business regulations in general, considering a government shutdown, and even weighing the possibly of sending the United States into default.
You might want to cover your tracks a bit, and say you have an economic plan that would help — a tax policy that’s already been tried — but you’d do so knowing that such a plan has already proven not to work.
Does any of this sound familiar?
(It goes on, but you get the idea.)
Yeah, there is a reason none, or at least very few people, dare call it sabotage. Because it is so stupid.
I mean two could play this game. Suppose you wanted to destroy the American economy—or better yet, America itself. Well, first you would run up massive debt, putting us in hock with countries that hate us, like China. Then in order to pay for that debt, we start printing money driving inflation through the roof. And what does that debt pay for? Jobs programs that don’t actually create jobs with any efficiency. So you got millions in debt, nothing to pay for it. And then you raise taxes, including on the most wealthy and most mobile members of society. You put in a thousand regulations. You put in a health care bill that will drive up the deficit even further, lying to the CBO about your budgetary intentions in order to claim it is deficit neutral, throwing people out of their insurance and threatening the entire insurance industry with bankruptcy. You sit with your thumb up your @$$ while the gulf coast is coated in oil and even prevent individual state governors from helping themselves during the crisis and refuse the help of foreign nations. Then based on the spill that you actively made worse, you misrepresent the views of scientists and experts to impose a disastrous moratorium on drilling, making us even more dependent on foreign oil. You needlessly insult strong allies, do nothing about a growing Iranian nuclear threat, refuse to support democracy in that country. and bow to the King of Saudi Arabia, the Emperor of Japan and even the mayor of Tampa, I guess because she is Asian. You then signal surrender in two foreign wars where the casualties are historically a pittance, and then you claim some sort of major triumph in getting Russia to agree not to nuke us.
Does any of that sound familiar?
The difference between your paranoid fantasy, Benen, and mine, is the policies I have described are mostly not proposals, but actual things Obama has done for the last two years, with results we don’t have to generally speculate about because we are living with them now. And so it really is a question of is Obama doing all this on purpose, or is he really that incompetent?
I mean if keeping spending low, debt low, taxes low, regulations low is an act of deliberate sabotage, then OMG! George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and so on were all engaged in deliberate attempts to destroy America!
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]