Not a single Republican voted for Clinton’s first budget.
They forecast terrible job losses.
“Suicidal,” one called it.
Yet the economy boomed and 23 million jobs were created.
Same with Obama: They hated his stimulus package — not a single Republican vote in the House, just three* in the Senate — hated his tax hikes on the best off — hated Obamacare — hated financial regulation — all forecast to kill jobs and strangle small business.
Yet we’ve had 59-straight months of private-sector job growth, added 12 million new jobs, tripled the stock market and cut the deficit by two-thirds.
And small business? This Bloomberg chart is headlined: Small Businesses Beat Big Counterparts in Jobs Gains: Drive Jobs Growth.
> So why would anyone listen to Republicans when it comes to the economy?
They are the Party of National Debt (Reagan/Bush quadrupled it in 12 years), the Party of Holding Down Wages (not least by freezing the minimum wage), the Party of Health Care Inflation (fighting Obama’s successful efforts to curb it), the Party of the Rich (and Growing Inequality) . . . and the Party of Terrible Predictions. Reelect Obama, Gingrich told us, and we’d have $10 gasoline. Reelect Obama, Romney told us, and we’d have four more years of chronic unemployment. Reelect Obama, Limbaugh told us, and the economy would collapse.
(Elect him, Texas Governor George W. Bush had told an electorate in 2000 eager to believe, and “by far the vast majority” of his proposed tax cuts would go to people “at the bottom of the economic ladder” — a multi-trillion-dollar lie that nonetheless won him almost as many votes as Gore.)
Republican forecasters are so bad they can’t even predict the present!
. . . “By any standard,” Republican leader Mitch McConnell tells us, “President Obama has been a disaster for our country.”
Except that everything is dramatically better than it was when he took office.
. . . “Today our nation is on the road to decline,” Marco Rubio told CPAC last week.
Yet the dollar is exceptionally strong; our ongoing economic recovery, the envy of the world.
Ironically, the two ways Senator Rubio’s “road to decline” does comport with reality — our broken Congress and our crumbling infrastructure — are squarely his party’s fault. Because his is the Party of No, a considerable faction of which believe in “no compromise” and who have no problem shutting down the government.**
Mitch McConnell’s first priority as Republican leader of the Senate was was not to help rescue a collapsing economy or end wars or fix health care but — in his own words — to make sure Obama would serve just one term. To see him fail. Even though that would mean missed opportunities and impeded progress for the American people. (How else to hold him to one term?)
There’s no starker example of this — the Republican-broken Congress and the Republican-crumbling infrastructure — than the American Jobs Act, designed to jump-start our economy by revitalizing infrastructure.
As President Obama told a joint session of Congress in 2011 specifically convened to urge passage:
. . . We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union. Founder of the Republican Party. But in the middle of a civil war, he was also a leader who looked to the future — a Republican President who mobilized government to build the Transcontinental Railroad — launch the National Academy of Sciences, set up the first land grant colleges. And leaders of both parties have followed the example he set.
Ask yourselves — where would we be right now if the people who sat here before us decided not to build our highways, not to build our bridges, our dams, our airports? What would this country be like if we had chosen not to spend money on public high schools, or research universities, or community colleges? Millions of returning heroes, including my grandfather, had the opportunity to go to school because of the G.I. Bill. Where would we be if they hadn’t had that chance?
How many jobs would it have cost us if past Congresses decided not to support the basic research that led to the Internet and the computer chip? What kind of country would this be if this chamber had voted down Social Security or Medicare just because it violated some rigid idea about what government could or could not do? How many Americans would have suffered as a result?
No single individual built America on their own. We built it together. We have been, and always will be, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all; a nation with responsibilities to ourselves and with responsibilities to one another. And members of Congress, it is time for us to meet our responsibilities.
Every proposal [in this bill that] I’ve laid out tonight is the kind that’s been supported by Democrats and Republicans in the past. Every proposal I’ve laid out tonight will be paid for. And every proposal is designed to meet the urgent needs of our people and our communities. . . .
Regardless of the arguments we’ve had in the past, regardless of the arguments we will have in the future, this plan is the right thing to do right now. You should pass it. And I intend to take that message to every corner of this country. And I ask — I ask every American who agrees to lift your voice: Tell the people who are gathered here tonight that you want action now. Tell Washington that doing nothing is not an option. Remind us that if we act as one nation and one people, we have it within our power to meet this challenge. . . .
A wide majority of economists — and voters — and Congresspersons — wanted to pass the American Jobs Act. But the Republican Congress forbade a vote. They’ve broken Congress; they’re letting our infrastructure crumble; and the Koch brothers have rounded up $889 million in hopes of taking the one remaining branch of government they do not yet control.
*Two of those three moderate Senators, now gone.