What Republicans Mean By “Jobs and Economic Growth”
It’s important to understand what Republicans running for office mean when they say “Americans voted for jobs and economic growth.” In truth, Americans DID vote for jobs and economic growth. But jobs and economic growth are not policies. They are the results of policies.
The problem is that the policies Republicans want to put in place will not result in jobs and economic growth — or, at least, not for the residents of town like Newton, Iowa. They will, however, bring the assurance of continued record high corporate profits, fatter CEO compensation packages, and fewer and looser restrictions on corporations’ freedom to outsource jobs, cut wages and benefits, lay off workers, and ignore workplace and environmental safety concerns.
You don’t have to take my word for it. You don’t have to go to liberal sources like Salon, or HuffPost, or Media Matters. All you have to do is read this headline at Bloomberg Business Week: “Business Looks to Republicans to Block Rules, Taxes.” And you can read the accompanying article:
The Republican gains in Congress mean U.S. companies from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to Wellpoint Inc. may be able to weaken or block what they consider President Barack Obama’s anti-business policies on health care, the environment, taxes and financial reform.Republicans will use their perch as the new majority in the House of Representatives to try to eliminate funding for parts of Obama’s health care bill opposed by business as well as curb regulations and government spending, Jay Timmons, senior vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, a Washington-based lobbying group, said in an interview before the election.
Observe carefully (emphasis mine):
“Americans voted for jobs and economic growth” and “resoundingly rejected” Obama policies, Thomas Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the biggest business lobbying group, said in a statement last night.
The results will bolster Republican efforts to extend Bush- era tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000 and to defeat Obama’s proposals to increase taxes on companies’ overseas profits.
Could the meaning here possibly be more clear? Americans voted for jobs and economic growth; Republican candidates ran “to extend Bush-era tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000” and to protect companies from having to pay higher taxes on overseas profits.
Now tell me: Do you recall reading about or hearing about or being present at any public campaign appearances at which Republicans running for office told the crowds that “Americans want Congress to extend Bush-era tax cuts for those earning over $250,000″ and/or that “Americans want Congress to protect companies from having to pay higher taxes on overseas profits”? No, me neither. That would not exactly have been a winning campaign formula for those candidates, would it? Again: Americans want jobs and economic growth — Republicans want to extend Bush-era tax cuts for Americans who make over $250,000 a year, and they want to lower corporations’ tax burden for profits that those corporations make outside of the United States.
Here are some more items on the Republican wish list that somehow didn’t make it into their campaign speeches (emphasis throughout is mine):
- “… tie up administration officials in hearings to explain and delay proposed rules on pesticides, ozone standards and mining. …”
- encourage”legislative stalemate” to please investors who “just want gridlock so the government will be less of a threat.”
- cut $100 billion out of domestic spending while being “aggressive in [defense] spending in ways that respond to [China's] capabilities in naval warfare, ballistic missiles and air power” (in order, of course, to protect U.S. corporate economic interests).
- Roll back labor-friendly policies as much as possible — especially those related to “union-backed federal stimulus” projects, “such as measures that created construction jobs and saved jobs of teachers, police officers and other public-sector workers.”
Robert McCartney gets to the core of the dilemma Americas faced in this election — particularly those who live in urban areas, which is most Americans (emphasis is mine):
If your region typically votes Democratic and depends heavily on federal dollars for its prosperity, it’s a bad day when Republicans make big gains in Congress after campaigning on passionate pledges to scale back government.
Pardon me for seeming blatantly partisan, but that judgment sums up the midterm elections’ likely impact on the Washington area. It’s hard to find a silver lining for the region in the GOP’s takeover of the House and advances in the Senate.
Of course, our area would benefit along with the rest of the nation if Republican-backed policies succeed in helping to revive the economy, hold down taxes and reduce government burdens on business.
But Democratic losses translate into trouble when it comes to many issues unique to our region, such as Metro funding, federal jobs and voting rights in the District. …
The first of those, of course, is not at all unique to D.C. Commuters and job-seekers in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area just lost a tunnel project that would have greatly eased transportation pressures and would have provided thousands of high-paying construction jobs. Public transportation — especially between urban core areas and the suburbs — is a hugely important issue for all big cities. Infrastructure construction, repair, and maintenance in general obviously is crucial to the economic health of urban areas, and just as obviously it’s an area of very little interest to big business and private investors because you can’t outsource the labor costs and because it’s a public service and not a product or a financial instrument that can yield huge profits, like cell phones or other consumer products.
I do see one silver lining to all this, however: After two years of Republican-style jobs and economic growth, Americans will be so disgusted with Republicans that reelecting Barack Obama and regaining the majority in the House will not be as hard a slog as it may seem now.