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For the second time in less than 4 months, Republican officials have agreed to release hostages in return for ransom demands. Late last evening, Speaker Boehner went before cameras and announced that his thuggish band of Young Guns would release the 5 million American women they have been threatening to deny access to reproductive health care services.
America has entered an entirely new era of ransom-negotiations governance.
Last December, the same Republican thugs threatened to take away every working American's tax reductions if the wealthiest 2% in the nation didn't also participate in the reductions. Then, as now, weak negotiating Democrats, caved to the thugs demands bending over backwards even granting the wealthiest .6% a bonus 10% reduction in their estate tax responsibilities.
The reason given then for the hostage situation was the uncertainties the boot-strapping capitalists,.....who were sitting quietly on trillions of excess cash,....were experiencing over what their future tax liabilities would be. The idea being that if these mighty entrepreneuers didn't have to be oh-so-worried about their tax rates, they could relax and stimulate the sour economy, perhaps even create a few jobs.
In the tense ransom negotiations which ended last evening, the Thugs rationale sounded similar.....
Boehner:...."You’ve heard me say time and time again that we’ve got to cut spending if we’re serious about creating an environment for job creators in America to do what they do best – and that’s to create jobs."
But here's the problem.....cutting government spending has no correlation to the creation of more jobs. Just as the alleged "uncertainties" about tax rates back in December had no correlation to economic expansion or new job creation, so too, now, cutting government spending. Cutting government spending during an 8.8% unemployment period will only add to our unemployment problem.
Our national economic problem is a demand problem. American families don't have enough discretionary money to increase the demand for goods and services. Too many Americans have been kicked to the financial curb, losing their homes, jobs, health care and futures in the collapsed Wall Street mortgage casino games. Now those Americans cannot fuel the economy enough to necessitate enough new hiring.
It isn't that the government is spending too much right now that is our primary problem. Our problem is that private capitalists aren't creating jobs because there isn't suficient new demand to warrant new hires.
By cutting government spending right now....as the Thugs have demanded....over 200,000 more Americans will lose their jobs. The $39 billion in additional government spending cuts agreed to last night was money designated to enter the economy....and now it's been withdrawn. The economy....instead of responding to these cuts with new job creation...will respond by reducing more jobs.
Now for the economy to just break even, private business will have to replace the $39 billion in economic activity that government spending would have created originally. This action is a case study in cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.
The agreement arrived at last night cuts off an additional $39 billion worth of government spending for the 5 months remaining in the 2011 fiscal year. Originally, the lynch-mob-impersonating Tea Party radicals insisted on a total of $100 billion in cuts for 2011. Boehner and his Young Thugs came away with 79% of what the lynch-mob demanded overall. In return, Republicans agreed to drop their threat to defund all Title X health related services for some 5 million American women. They agreed, at least in principle, to release those 5 million women from the threat of no longer having access to reproductive and health care services.
As they say....the finer details still will need to be worked out.
So what's next?
Allow me to rant-off a new hypothetical.
Next up for negotiations and hostage taking is the raising of the nation's credit card limit. Bigger stakes....much bigger. If the U.S. government cannot borrow in order to fulfill it's financial obligations, all economists agree, our nation will pay a hellaciously awful price. In effect, not raising the debt ceiling would be a declaration of national bankruptcy. What could the GOP's Young Thugs ransom note look like in such a high-stakes standoff?
What would prevent Republicans from kidnapping the entire Medicare program and using it as the hostage for raising our nation's debt limit? Will we hear Boehner and Cantor telling us that in order for our capitalist overlords to create new jobs, Medicare must be scrapped as a govenment program and, instead, handed over immediately to the for-profit health care sharks? Is there any reason you can think of which would prevent such a ransom situation from happening?
Today's new Republican radicals thought nothing of holding all working American's tax rates hostage......they didn't hesitate to threaten 5 million women with the threat of elimination of their access to reproductive health care services. What could possibly stop these extremists from putting their proverbial guns to the heads of the geezers?