Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Only Jobs They Really Care About

Latest Newspaper Column: The Pilot

One quote that's pretty much helped form the way I look at politics is this one from conservative humorist P.J. O'Rourke:

"The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then get elected and prove it."

And boy, have they proven it lately.

See, the Republicans sort of painted themselves into a corner. Their electoral strategy for taking back Congress was built around hammering President Obama and the Democrats for the high unemployment rate and promising that if they got in, there'd be jobs, jobs and more jobs.

What they momentarily forgot is that another pillar they claim as part of their philosophy is that "government can't do anything, especially create jobs."

For a while they've managed to obscure that contradiction by spinning everything they want to get rid of as being about jobs. They cast the Affordable Care Act as "the job-killing health care bill" - which, after the tragic shootings in Tucson they amended to "job-crushing" or "job-destroying" health care bill.

Whatever the name, they vowed to repeal it, in the name of Almighty Jobs, even though the Congressional Budget Office predicted a small effect on employment - a half a percent - with most of that coming from people voluntarily working less because, for instance, they could retire earlier or take less demanding work due to the availability of insurance outside their jobs.

But as always, who needs facts when fear-mongering will do? If jobs are all people are thinking about, the GOP decided, then everything we don't like will be "job-crushing" or "job-destroying." And there's nothing they hated more than the health care bill.

Problem was, they knew going in that they weren't going to repeal the health care bill. They didn't have the votes in the Senate, and they knew they didn't have enough votes anywhere to override the inevitable presidential veto.

So the House Republicans huffed and strutted and voted on a repeal bill - and it died in the Senate, just as everyone knew it would. Total jobs created: zero.

Meanwhile, former car thief Darrell Issa (R-Gone in 60 Seconds), chairman of the Congressional Oversight Committee, sent letters to more than 150 corporations and trade organizations, asking them to tell him which regulations they didn't like - oh, sorry, which regulations are, in their sole opinion, "harming job growth."

Republicans have also opposed greater regulation of food safety, mining and deep-water drilling.

I suppose you could make a case that that kind of deregulation is aimed at creating jobs. After all, the more miners or oil rig workers who die in preventable accidents, the more job openings there'll be. And those who don't qualify for the jobs can help clean up the dead wildlife after spills.

Another "job-creating" measure the Republicans want to undertake is cutting $100 billion of government spending, which will somehow create jobs by throwing an estimated 994,000 government employees out of work, to say nothing of the independent contractors who hire people to work on government-sponsored projects.

Speaker Boehner's response? "So be it." After all, government workers or people on government contracts aren't actually real people with real jobs to Boehner and the GOP. As far as they're concerned, the only people who have real jobs are the corporate CEOs who employ the lobbyists. You know, the people who have paid for 180 golf junkets and other corporate-sponsored trips for Boehner over the past six years.

I guess as long as he's in power, caddies, waitresses and bartenders in his vicinity can rest easy at night knowing their jobs are secure. The rest of you can go whistle.

Meanwhile, back on the House floor, the Republicans seem less concerned with job creation than they are with using the budget battles to push a radical anti-abortion agenda.

They introduced a bill that would redefine "rape" in such a way that it excludes statutory rape or date rape, and threw in a provision that would allow hospitals to let a woman die rather than perform an emergency abortion that might save her life.

Both measures failed. Total jobs created: again, zero.

Looks like the only jobs these mooks really care about are their own. Whoever they're working for, it sure ain't us.


Cindy McIntyre said...

You are so RIGHT ON!

Charlieopera said...

And then there's this guy and his inconvenient memory:

I'm not sure how many jobs he hopes to create overseeing the death of organized labor, but my guess it can't be many.

John Purcell said...

Judging by the comments left on the Pilot site, I hope all the good will you engender down there doesn't go to your head, Dusty. ;)

JD Rhoades said...

John, if I wanted to be universally loved, I wouldn't be a lawyer.

John McFetridge said...

Looking at America from the outside it seems odd that there aren't more demands for, "The best government in the world."

And Charlie, it does look like two parties headed in the same direction at different speeds.

Of course, in Canada we have three parties headed in the same direction at different speeds and one trying to get its province out of the country, so maybe that's the way it is everywhere. No one wants the one thing they can vote for to have any power.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer, of all places, had an editorial that ended with, "No economy ever grew by arbitrarily driving down the living standards of working people." But then, some people do very well in times of recession.

Charlieopera said...

... it does look like two parties headed in the same direction at different speeds.

Which has always been my contention, except this time it's more serious than the usual bullshit both parties shovel. I don't know he walks this one back, though ... except today on Meet the Press, the head of the AFC-CIO was all giddy about it, literally giggling his way out of answering a simple question about Obama's reluctance to fulfill his promise (Tumpka made himself and unions in general look as crooked as the Koch brothers); that clown didn't seem to mind Obama's ignoring the unions at all (which will only further distance a lot of middle class workers from unions).

At least they (either side) haven't taken away our third round pick by fiat ... yet.

Dory said...

Just when I was down in the dumps over the realization we're unoffically living in a Plutocracy, along came J.D. who gave me lots of copy and paste material.... ;)

Thanks, pal. I really needed that.

Again, we're on the same page.

JD Rhoades said...

Copy and paste away, Dory..and thanks!