You’re probably already well familiar with the Republican Party’s guileful ratf*cking of our economy while the black man was in charge of our country.
Much is made of Donald Trump’s efforts to reverse everything President Obama ever did, but Trump’s policies are really just a new chorus of an old hymn.
After the economy cratered following eight years of Reaganomics Redux, Barack Obama came into office extending an olive branch. And Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, et al. enthusiastically took it — along with his arm, up to and including the humerus.
In short, there was no way they were going to let Obama clean up the fluorescent shit stain they’d napalmed across our country from sea to shining sea.
A desperately needed stimulus to keep our economy from sinking into another depression? You won’t get any help from Republicans, and they’ll call it a “failed stimulus bill” from now until the day Jesus comes back riding Barry Goldwater like a surfboard to reinstitute the gold standard.
An infrastructure bill to put millions upon millions back to work? Pfffff. **ck you, you socialist Kenyan usurper.
Oh, the MAGAts don’t remember any of this? Well, luckily Paul Krugman kept the receipts. In his May 4 column, Krugman recounts the austerity-mania that prevailed among Republican “thinkers” during the Obama years, noting how their cost-cutting zeal anchored down an already drowning economy (that was, of course, rapidly sinking thanks to … Republicans).
And of course, Republicans were going to instantly forget about the deficit the moment one of their own stepped into the Oval Office.
But these scoundrels still have the ability to surprise even an old salt like Krugman:
But I thought that monetary policy was a bit different. Republicans have been the party of fiscal irresponsibility since Reagan, and there was no reason to believe that they had changed. But goldbuggery, hatred of fiat money, and abhorrence for the printing press did seem to be long-standing attitudes on the right. I imagined that [Paul] Ryan, who once asserted that he had learned all he needed to know about monetary policy from Atlas Shrugged, might actually believe what he was saying about the Fed.
In light of recent events, however, it appears that I was wrong. Republican posturing on monetary policy was as insincere as the party’s posturing on fiscal policy. We now have to see the party’s 2010-2011 demands for tight monetary policy, like its demands for tight fiscal policy, as reflecting not economic principles, but rather a desire to sabotage Barack Obama.
You see, Donald Trump’s attempt to install Stephen Moore at the Fed failed for the wrong reason. Moore fell short because he turns out to be a loathsome individual. But he should have been rejected out of hand simply on the basis of his economic views. Not only was he wrong, again and again, during the financial crisis and its aftermath; not only did he refuse to admit error, or learn anything from his mistakes; but he turned on a dime as soon as Trump was in office, showing himself to be a purely political animal. He demanded higher interest rates when unemployment was above 9 percent; now he’s demanding lower rates with unemployment below 4 percent.
Just as Republicans introduced a Keynesian fiscal stimulus in the form of upper-class tax cuts at precisely the wrong time (i.e., when the economy was already in good shape), they’re now demanding lower interest rates when we already have full employment. In other words, they desperately want to keep the beach ball in the air during Trump’s tenure, even if that ends up creating an unsustainable sugar high and screwing the country in the long run.
That’s insane. But then again, so are Republicans.
How insane? Look at this chart Krugman put together for his latest column. It shows the cratering of employment and workers’ earnings post-Bush vs. the post-Obama economy we’re still enjoying. For some reason, Republicans wanted to raise interest rates while the economy was still depressed and currently want to cut them now that the economy has fully recovered.
Yes “for some reason.” I’ll give you one guess as to what that reason is.