Mar 10, 2010
You know what we need to juice up the performance of our weak economy? Viagra.
Yes, America needs a new Viagra, specifically targeted to stiffen
backbones - in particular, the limp backbones of Barack Obama's team,
as well as the flaccid spines of Democratic congressional leaders.
Where's the drug industry when we really need it?
The Obama-ites seem incapable of firm stands. They excite us by
boldly addressing our economic woes, then they seduce us by proposing
stout actions. But when it comes time to follow through - it's
Take America's job crisis. Obama and the Democrats eloquently
empathize with the plight of struggling families who are falling out of
the middle class. They point out that after Wall Street banksters
crashed our economy and created the Great
has plummeted by more than 8.4 million. Since then, another 2.7 million
jobseekers have come into the workforce. That leaves us in a hole that
is 11.1 million jobs deep.
The White House and Congress correctly note that our economy must
not merely stop losing jobs, it must create more than 400,000 new
positions a month for the next three years just to get us out of this
hole. Nothing is more important, they tell us, blowing kisses of
compassion and promising satisfaction.
"Our three most important priorities in this Congress," says Rep.
Bob Ethridge, a North Carolina Democrat, are "jobs, jobs, jobs." Obama
himself has titillated the hopes of working families by proposing a
$266 billion national emergency program to put America to work.
Strong stuff - let's get it on!
Sure enough, after a lengthy romancing of their Republican
colleagues (who are devout believers in an abstinence-only job-creation
policy), the Democrats finally made their move last week. With the
support of five GOP senators, the "jobs, jobs, jobs" bill passed in
both houses of Congress.
What a letdown. To win those five Republican senators, Democratic leaders shriveled their job investment program
from a robust $266 billion to a frustratingly puny $15 billion. Even
such phony Casanovas as Sen. Chuck Schumer had to confess that the
"package is not a panacea; it's not going to solve everything."
Everything? Chuck, admit your impotence. At most, this bill might
stimulate the creation of 250,000 new jobs - a bit short of the 11
million that America needs just to get back to where were in 2007, much
less the need to create an economic path to lead us into a bold future
of new, sustainable, middle-class job creation.
In fact, the Democrats' response is even weaker than it appears.
Rather than directly creating jobs that pay workers, the $15 billion is
going into tax breaks for businesses. The convoluted hope is that the money
will "encourage" the recipients to hire a few people who're suffering
from long-term joblessness. This trickle-down approach is even more
pathetic than trying to fight a house fire with a squirt gun, for it
doesn't even put the squirt gun in the hands of the people caught in
What the Democrats have done is to pass a do-nothing Republican
bill, a reality that was blurted out by Sen. Orrin Hatch, one of the
five GOPsters to vote for it: "This is a conservative approach to help
put our economy back on track through tax relief, not government
What a fraud. And an insult. Remember when Wall
rescue, not with "conservative" tax relief, but with trillions of
public dollars that they put directly in the hands of the same Wall
Street arsonists who started the fire.
We expect pious Republicans to consider millions of struggling
American workers to be less worthy than a few greedheaded bankers, but
not the Party of Roosevelt. Yet one Democratic leader said of this
feeble bill, "Better something than nothing."
Maybe they're fooling themselves - but not us, and certainly not the
jobless. This bill is nothing. And if Democrats don't stiffen their
spines, they'll be nothing, too.
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© 2023 Jim Hightower
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