Vote for Obama will bottle GOP’s supply side genie

Vote for Obama will bottle
GOP’s supply side genie

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

As the presidential campaign revs up into high gear even earlier than usual this year, there is one thing of which we all, regardless of who we support, can be sure. That is that this campaign cycle promises to be one of the ugliest and most expensive the United States has ever seen.

As a liberal Democrat who, overall, supports President Obama for re-election; I am struck by just how effective what I call the New American Right has been at revising history and conning a good chunk of the U.S. electorate into believing that Barack Obama is totally responsible for the current economic mess in which the United States remains mired.

Now, in one regard he is. His early attempts to turn the U.S. economy around were nowhere near big or bold enough to dig the U.S. economy out of the ditch into which three decades of nearly uninterrupted supply side, a/k/a/ trickle down or voodoo, economics drove it.

But it is the claim by the GOP and the New American Right that they have the prescription to fix the economy if only Obama and the Democrats are defeated in November that raises the definition of revisionism to dizzying new heights.

The reality is we have been taking the GOP/New American Right’s economic medicine for a very long time. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama may have reduced the dosage a bit, but neither had the political cajones to put the evil “supply side” genie back into its bottle for good.

The current U.S. economy is not an “Obama economy.” It is a “Republican economy.”

We are still taking the “tax cuts for the rich and spending cuts for the poor and middle class” medicine, despite all the evidence that it is only making our symptoms worse.

Unemployment remains unacceptably high in the U.S. No one disputes that. But the GOP/New American Right’s claims that Obama is responsible for that is utter nonsense.

The bulk of the U.S. job losses of the Great Recession peaked in late 2008 and early 2009, long before Obama’s policies had been in place long enough to have any effect.

On Obama’s watch, in fact, we have seen a steady increase in new job creation, although the pace remains unacceptably slow.

His collaboration with the private sector, vis a vis the saving of GM, did more to stem the slide into a full blown economic depression than any other thing Obama has done so far.

The GOP/New American Right’s claims that Obama is the biggest spender of all time are also pure fiction.

The fact is the rate of government spending — federal, state, and local — when adjusted for population growth and inflation, has been falling at a rate not seen since the early 1950s.

The GOP/New American Right’s claims that taxes are choking the economic recovery is also laughable when one considers that federal taxes as a share of the nation’s GDP are at, or near, historic lows. They are, in fact, lower today than what they were when Ronald Reagan, the great believer in the supply side economics genie, was in the White House.

Voters in the United States, and those living abroad, do have a clear choice this November.

That choice is either to elect a man who will, no doubt, let a second or third supply side economics genie out of the bottle on behalf the U.S. plutocracy — with all the disturbing possibilities that entails — or they can re-elect a man who, freed from the political constraints of re-election, might actually get bold enough to put the supply side economics genie back in the bottle for good and get the U.S. economy back on track and restore the American Dream that has increasingly become a nightmare for far too many middle and working class individuals and families after three decades of what George Herbert Walker Bush honestly and correctly labeled voodoo economics way back in 1980.

Michael Cook
Gloucester, Massachusettss
and Playa Cocles

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