With all the consequences of Republican destructive economic policies coming down on us this week, I knew that both the corporate media and the multitudes of GOP politicians would be spinning mightily. Not one would have the self-awareness or intellectual honesty to look at their own behaviors -- focusing the debt/deficit instead of jobs, playing the false equivalency game, acting as if the economy only got bad on January 20, 2009, etc. -- and acknowledge that everyone involved owns the S&P downgrade and the rotten economy that we have.
On This Week, the roundtable went down predictable routes. George Will spouted his oft-repeated and still incorrect whinging that nothing the Obama adminstration has done, especially the stimulus, has worked. But relative Sunday pundit newcomer Mellody Hobson injected the fresh air of outside-the-Beltway thinking and told all these Villagers that their focus was wrong. It's not about cutting budgets right now to improve the economy; it's all about bringing the jobs back. And here's where Hobson showed up these Villagers: she had some possible solutions:
Yeah, so we have to put more -- you know, one of the things that people don't want to talk about is corporate incentives. Right now, no one wants to give the corporations any extra help, but there are corporate incentives out there that could move the job story.
So, one, giving the corporations the ability to repatriate all this money that they have all over the world without a huge amount of taxation. If you tied it to job creation and investment spending, that would help this country.
I heard a great idea from Alan Khazei, who's running for Senate in Massachusetts, who talked about the 99ers, the people who are getting 99 weeks of unemployment insurance. Give the corporations a sponsorship for those 99ers. Tell them, we will give you a voucher for 99 weeks of compensation with the hope that you will bring these people on full time, not to mention how it affects people's psychology that they can get up and go to work every day. Talk about affecting sentiment in this country.
Wait, wait...tying tax incentives to bringing back onshore jobs? Giving 99ers a chance to get back into the workforce? That's crazy talk. No, really. According to Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, that's just ridiculous:
Well, we're not just one good tax increase away from prosperity. That's not the way that we're going to actually grow the economy and grow jobs in this country.
We in the reality-based community who value logic and sense recognize that Chaffetz entire argument is better known as Ignoratio elenchi. Did Hobson--who gave lucid and cogent suggestions of things Congress could do right now to improve the economy--actually suggest that taking steps towards getting people employed would result in instant prosperity? Of course not. But listen to Chaffetz's suggestion:
We need stability in our government. We need predictability.
If you look at all the new regulations that have been -- health care, the EPA, in my state of Utah, energy is a huge -- in fact, that's where the best jobs are. We don't have an energy policy in this country. So there are lots of things we can do to grow jobs, but stability is part of it.
Bumper stickers, signifying nothing. If a lack of regulation stimulates growth, where the hell was all of it during the Bush administration? As Cokie Roberts rebukes Chaffetz, if stability is needed, that ship sailed with the GOP shenanigans during the debt ceiling debate, as the S&P specifically mentioned.
But this is exactly why we can't have nice things in this country. We get bumper stickers instead of solutions and not one of the Villagers shaping dialog for the country can be honest about it.