Sunday, January 25, 2009

So the GOP Wants Obama to Succeed?

I watched John Boehner, minority leader of the House, on Meet the Press this morning and began experiencing last night's lovely dinner in honor of our friends' 20th anniversary rising back up through my esophagus and begin choking me with its well-digested foulness. The guy says he's all for helping the new president succeed, but, as is his wont as the supposedly loyal opposition, he notes how he and his cackling caucus have "problems" with the stimulus package as presented. What he means -- since GOP-ers tend to corrode good policies in code -- is that the GOP will do anything it can to derail the efforts of the new administration, and if that means the American people have to starve, suffer, or, God help us, die, that's just ducky with them.

Here's a headline from the Washington Times: McCain, Boehner oppose Obama stimulus plan. Big surprise. More pointedly, though, here is Boehner, looking gloomy and hardly statesmanlike, sending the American people gleefully into the economic gallows because all he knows is wrong:

To quantify what I mean -- that is, what's really at stake here -- look at this headline from a recent analysis posted by the Economic Policy Institute:

Without adequate public spending, a catastrophic recession for some

Let's burrow down and put some numbers on what the EPI means:

This analysis sketches a picture of how much worse we can expect things to get—both for the nation as a whole and for groups of Americans that are already suffering depression-level unemployment—unless the new administration and Congress act quickly with a recovery package that is big enough and well-targeted enough to counteract these trends. The authors recommend government spending on the order of $600 billion per year for the next two years to head off the otherwise inevitable catastrophe. Their analysis notes that without timely and adequate government intervention:

Overall unemployment, after peaking at about 10.2% in mid-2010, could still be as high as 7.6% four years from now.

Underemployment could reach 17.9% overall in 2010 (18.8% for women), affecting over 27 million workers.

More than one out of every three working Americans would experience unemployment or underemployment at some point during the year 2010.

Nearly one in five African Americans in the labor force would be unemployed (18.2%). More than half of all black teens would be jobless.

Hispanic unemployment would reach 13.1% overall, and more than one-third among teens.

Unemployment would reach a record high of 5.1% among the college-educated, 1.2 points above the previous high of 3.9% in the depths of the 1980s recession.

All families would experience wage declines because of weakened labor market conditions and reduced hours and wages. On average, middle-income families would earn about $4,700 less per year in 2010 than in 2007 (a loss of 7.7%) Low-income families would lose an average of 9.8%, or nearly $1,600, per year.
According to this story, even Rush Limbaugh agrees that it's better not to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs so the GOP can retake power. At least the pill-popping, wife-swapping treasonous liar is being truthful about it.

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