Thursday, July 22, 2010

Herbert Hoover's Ghost


Robert Reich says it's haunting Washington. He calls our economic disability the "1.5 dip recession":


The 1.5 dip recession should cause the President to demand a large-scale national jobs program including a new WPA that gets millions of Americans back to work even if government has to pay their wages directly. Included would be zero-interest loans to strapped states and locales, so they didn't have to cut vital services and raise taxes. They could repay when the economy picked up and revenues came in. The national jobs program would also include a one-year payroll tax holiday on the first $20,000 of income.

The President should stop talking and acting on anything else – not the deficit, not energy, not the environment, not immigration, not implementing the health care law, not education. He should make the whole upcoming mid-term election a national referendum on putting Americans back to work, and his jobs bill. Are you for it or against it?

But none of this is happening. The hawks and blue dogs are still commanding the attention. Herbert Hoover's ghost seems to have captured the nation's capital. We're back to 1932 (or 1937) and the prevailing sentiment is government can't and mustn't do anything but aim to reduce the deficit, even though the economy is going down.


It didn't work in 1932. It worked still worse in 1937 when FDR let himself be persuaded by the Right to do the "conservative" thing. Not until FDR prevailed over the worst of Hoover's policy advocates did the Great Depression begin to reverse.

But today, the right-wing economic nut-cases keep trying the same thing again and again, just certain it will work this time. No, it wasn't Einstein who labeled that behavior "insanity," but the definition has stuck anyway: trying something over and over again when it hasn't worked yet is pure and simple insanity.

If that is correct, then we are being led by a lunatic. All you Obama fans... I hope you enjoy being broke, hungry and jobless, because we already know from experience that that's where this policy leads.

AFTERTHOUGHT about Obama fandom: Lately I've seen comments, posts and even occasional correspondence telling me that if I am a Democrat, I should support Obama in every regard, because he is "our" president.

I'm sorry, but that's ass-backward.

If Obama were acting even remotely like a Democrat, I'd support him, and I'd probably still be a Democrat myself.

But he is not. He is acting more conservative than a mainstream Republican from, say, Eisenhower's day, and repeatedly showing no support for workers' rights, women's rights, civil liberties and economic sanity. A Democrat is as a Democrat does. Obama doesn't.

Obama has clearly abandoned the Democratic tradition of the late 20th and early 21st century... my tradition... and so I have abandoned Obama. The fact that the party has tagged along after Obama for whatever reason has driven me to abandon the party as well. Give me back the traditional Democratic Party and I will probably rejoin it... but I'm not holding my breath for that to happen.

And you people who are telling me to "grow up" and "get over it"? Fuck you with a corkscrew. Here, you can borrow mine...


  1. No argument but I guess the big question is where do we turn. I don't see much alternative except going with the devil you know. The GOP sure isn't the answer and none of the third parties have enough swing to get anything done. I guess we are just screwed.

  2. I vote for people not parties now because neither party represents me any more.

    If I don't like either choice, I don't make a choice.

    I voted Green for President in '08 because I knew Obama was a Republican.

    Until the legacy parties figure out that they have to do what their supporters want, they don't serve any purpose.

    This isn't a game, as some seem to think. People haven't gotten anything from the current Democratic majority. In many ways the legislation that has been passed is worse than nothing.

    I don't know about you all, but tax credits don't do me any good, and too much of the supposed help is based on them.

    Congress has gone along with a lot of trash bills that it never would have accepted if there had been an identified Republican in the White House.

  3. Barrack Hussein Hoover----got a ring to it......enough to give one a depression for sure.

  4. Thanks, Mandt, now I stuck with the concept that if he had a son, the poor kid would be named Ronald Herbert Obama...



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