Politics

Republicans Purposely Holding Up Economy on Obama’s Watch

Tue., Jun. 12, 2012 6:57 AM EDT
by Terry Shropshire

The State Journal-Register and the Rockford Register Star have put forth compelling arguments and evidence that the Republican Party is purposely holding up the economic recovery in America in order to improve the party’s electoral prospects and remove President Obama from office.

Increasingly, the Democratic Party is blaming GOP obstructionism for the economy slowing to a crawl after months of positive marketplace growth and job creation.

“In recent days, Democrats have started coming out and saying publicly what many have been mumbling privately for years — Republicans are so intent on defeating President Obama for re-election that they are purposely sabotaging the country’s economic recovery,” writes Michael Cohen of the UK Guardian. “These charges are now being levied by Democrats such as Senate majority leader Harry Reid and Obama’s key political adviser, David Axelrod.

“For Democrats, perhaps the most obvious piece of evidence of GOP premeditated malice is the 2010 quote from Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell:

‘The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.'”

Notice what McConnell did not say, that the recovery of the American economy was the most important thing Republicans needed to accomplish. Furthermore, the aforementioned publications stated the following:

  • Republicans have opposed a lion’s share of stimulus measures that once they supported, such as a payroll tax break, which they grudgingly embraced earlier this year. Even unemployment insurance, a relatively uncontroversial tool for helping those in an economic downturn, has been consistently held up by Republicans or used as a bargaining chip for more tax cuts. Ten years ago, prominent conservatives were loudly making the case for fiscal stimulus to get the economy going
  • Investments in infrastructure? No. Funds to save teachers’ and first responders’ jobs? No. Tax breaks for businesses? No. Tax breaks for the middle class? Probably no.
  • In a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, leaked to the press, Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.; House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.; cautioned Bernanke against providing the economy any further monetary stimulus.
  • There is the fact that since the original stimulus bill passed in February of 2009, Republicans have made practically no effort to draft comprehensive job creation legislation. Instead, they continue to pursue austerity policies, which reams of historical data suggest harms economic recovery and does little to create jobs. In fact, since taking control of the House of Representatives in 2011, Republicans have proposed hardly a single major jobs bill that didn’t revolve, in some way, around their one-stop solution for all the nation’s economic problems: more tax cuts.

Some political pundits wonder aloud the political capital President Obama and Democrats can accrue by going out and aggressively pointing out blatant GOP obstructionism that prevents a full and healthy recovery from economic malaise that the country finds itself trapped in. But since Obama cannot campaign on a growing economy and lower unemployment numbers, he may be left with no other options.

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