Joe Nocera’s column in today’s New York Times will be quoted often in years to come. He and a few others — like Paul Krugman and Robert Reich — have written that America’s future is being sabotaged by the children who were elected last November. Nocera writes:
These last few months, much of the country has watched in horror as the Tea Party Republicans have waged jihad on the American people. Their intransigent demands for deep spending cuts, coupled with their almost gleeful willingness to destroy one of America’s most invaluable assets, its full faith and credit, were incredibly irresponsible. But they didn’t care. Their goal, they believed, was worth blowing up the country for, if that’s what it took.
The truth is that the Tea Party Zealots — who talk boldly about patriotism and love of country — have struck deeply at their nation’s foundations. Like Franklin Roosevelt, who reined in spending in 1937 — and sent the country back into depression — these folks are hell bent on repeating the same mistake. But
inflicting more pain on their countrymen doesn’t much bother the Tea Party Republicans, as they’ve repeatedly proved. What is astonishing is that both the president and House speaker are claiming that the deal will help the economy. Do they really expect us to buy that? We’ve all heard what happened in 1937 when Franklin Roosevelt, believing the Depression was over, tried to rein in federal spending. Cutting spending spiraled the country right back into the Great Depression, where it stayed until the arrival of the stimulus package known as World War II. That’s the path we’re now on. Our enemies could not have designed a better plan to weaken the American economy than this debt-ceiling deal.
Responsible adults know that sometimes you have to tell children “No!.” — even as they throw a tantrum, hold their breath and turn blue. When you give the children the run of the House, the place will be left in a shambles.
Owen Gray grew up in Montreal, where he received a B. A. from Concordia University. After crossing the border and completing a Master’s degree at the University of North Carolina, he returned to Canada, married, raised a family and taught high school for 32 years. Now retired, he lives — with his wife and youngest son — on the northern shores of Lake Ontario. This post is cross posted from his blog.