Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I watched President Obama give his first speech (talk) to Congress since becoming president. Now we all know that the talk really targeted the American people, not just Congress, including Congressional Republicans who had to listen along--like it or not.

We all knew that the Republicans were going to play the chair game, sit when the Democrats were standing, and stand when the Democrats were sitting. I can count at least one instance when both sides of the aisle actually stood together, probably the only bipartisan moment since the beginning of Obama's administration.

In recent days we've heard a lot about how deep our economic problems run. We're told that economists and the government haven't really been completely honest about how big the problem actually is.

It's a lot like the person who borrowed your car calling and telling you he's been involved in a fender bender, when in fact your car has been totaled.

We can't know just how much money it's going to take to fix the economy, if we don't know just how much damage the economy has sustained.

A few months down the road we should have a pretty good inkling of whether we'll need a whole new economy, or if we can put new tires on the old one, give it a tuneup, and repair a few nicks here and there.

We may find that we'll have to overhaul the whole damn thing, or roll out a new one altogether.

Governor Piyush "Bobby" Jindal(R) of Louisiana, giving the Republican party's rebuttal, seems to think that all the economy needs is another mechanic, the one that we hired to work on the economy is using the wrong principles, the wrong methodology.

After tonight's performance, if Republicans think that Governor Jindal is going to be that rising star to eclipse the Obama sun, then they need to consult another fortune teller. But they may have to wait in line: fortune tellers are now in great demand what with this recessionary economy.

Here's the Grand Obstructionist Party's position:

"To hell with a Stimulus bill designed to put Americans to work.

"Let our old jalopy of an economy run idle for a while. That's the self-correcting thing to to.

"Even without a mechanic, our sputtering economy will be up and running before you know it."

The Republican party's prescription for repairing the economy that they're largely responsible for wrecking, is to cut taxes, cut taxes, and cut more taxes.

They forget that three Trillion dollars of tax cuts to date haven't as yet done the trick. Maybe, just maybe, a combination of tax cuts, and targeted spending, will do what tax cuts alone haven't.

As Byron Williams has observed in his name prescient article entitled, No Time for Ideological Based Economic Solutions, posted December 10, 2008 05:34 PM (EST):

We the people should have little tolerance for any elected official, regardless of party, who stands on ideological grounds. Such thinking robs one of the ability to work with someone who may see the world differently.

Truth is, the only logical answer that anyone has a firm grasp, as it relates to this economy, is "I don't know."

The last time I heard a politician imply the words, "I don't know," and say, instead, "I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you," was Sarah Palin, as Katie Couric pressed her in an interview to provide examples of where John McCain pushed for more regulations.

The sad truth, she didn't know, and, as we were to painfully learn later--there were a lot of things that Sarah Palin didn't know.


Seda said...

Isn't that just exactly the same response the GOP had to FDR's handling of the economy?

"Don't worry, it's just a natural correction, and if the economy idles for awhile, well, it'll pick up pretty soon. Just don't do anything to fix it."

Yeah, right.

FDR made a bunch of mistakes trying to get the economy fixed. It was in worse shape when he started - it had three full years under Republicans after tanking before FDR took over - and FDR made a lot of mistakes, and tried a lot of things that didn't work, before he got things going again. Nobody really knew what to do then, nobody knows now. It's going to take some trial and error, and some patience. And it probably means the whole damn thing needs to be redone.

In fact, it probably needs to be torn down and rebuilt from scratch.

But at least we've got someone who's willing to try something!

Black Diaspora said...

Nobody really knew what to do then, nobody knows now. Seda

Seda, you're right on, and I'm willing to admit that the steps that are now being taken may in the end prove fruitless as well.

But to do nothing so as to remain true to some philosophical, or ideological principles, doesn't quite seem to be the answer either.

If a man is drowning in the middle of the ocean, he's going to want someone to throw him a lifeline.

The Republicans will throw it only if they get credit for the throwing--that the lifeline adheres to their core values, and their ideological principles, otherwise the man (the country) can drown.

I'm getting ahead of myself here. I plan to blog on this either today or tomorrow.

Thanks for your comments, they're always appreciated.