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Government by Empty Rhetoric June 29, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics.
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The most recent defeat of a jobs bill in the Senate will have far reaching consequences beyond the loss of benefits for the unemployed. The bill included aid to the states, which will not be forthcoming. As Ed Kilgore points out:

Unfortunately, 34 states planned on receiving that money, and its failure to materialize is going to create a whole new round of state budget crises. In many states, we can expect Medicaid cuts and/or reductions in other state spending, quite likely including layoffs of teachers and other public employees. That’s why most Republican state officials did not share the happy-talk of their brethren in Washington about opposing “bailouts of the states.”

State budget cuts will have a baleful effect on the economy, and vague conservative talk that “shringing government” will somehow produce private-sector growth is going to be exposed as illusory.

Kilgore thinks there may be a silver political lining to the Republicans’ refusal to do anything to stimulate the economy.

But there could be political consequences as well, as voters begin to realize that there is no big pot of money labeled “waste, fraud and abuse” that can be tapped to balance state budgets, much less to fund the high-end personal and corporate tax cuts that many Republicans continue to call for in the latest incarnation of the discredited theory of supply-side economics.

In other words, the anti-government populism that conservatives are counting on as electoral magic this November may lose some of its appeal when reality sets in. And Democrats should be quick to point out there is no such thing as a free “austerity” lunch.

Unfortunately, there is no evidence that the public “gets it”. Reality “set in” a long time ago with the financial crisis and consequent recession that was wholly a product of a bankrupt conservative ideology and Republican mismanagement. Yet polls show that voters are poised to put Republicans back in power in the November mid-term elections.

Conservative beliefs continue to circulate in an endless feedback loop, immune to counter-example or evidence and supported by nothing but empty nostrums about “freedom”, “big guvment”, and “free markets”.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com

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