Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Lessons from FDR

The compromise tax deal moved forward in the Senate on a vote of 83 to 15. Among the 15 nay votes were progressive stalwarts Bernie Sanders and Russ Feingold, and arch-conservatives like Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn. The votes for this measure came from both sides of the fence. And the votes against it were from the parts furthest from the fence.

The polls show broad support for the tax deal. A Washington Post/ABC poll showed 69 percent support for the package as a whole, but only 11 percent supported all four of the deal’s primary provisions. People like compromise, but not what comprises compromise. This deal is like sausage—everybody likes it, but they don’t necessarily like everything that’s in it. Just eat the sausage, people. We’ll start eating healthy breakfasts after 2012.

Remember that hardcore conservatives absolutely hate this tax compromise. There’s proof right there that it must be helpful. The group Tea Party Patriots is blasting the reinstatement of the estate tax. Yeah, a lot of those people at the tea party rallies look like they’re going to get hit by a tax on estates worth over $10 million. If the people at all those tea party rallies have many estates worth over $10 million, they should be spending more money on professional sign makers. Or at least on a spelling dictionary.

As you listen to the new Republicans in Congress rail about spending, remember this history lesson from the last Democratic president who faced pressure on deficits from Republicans during an economic crisis: when FDR spent, unemployment fell. When FDR cut back under pressure from Republicans, unemployment rose. Like FDR, Obama has a choice. He can listen to Republicans, or he can listen to common sense. In 1938, in this famous fireside chat, Roosevelt recommitted to using government action to relieve the depression. Then, as today, the only reason to listen to Republicans on financial matters is to get a firm grip on what NOT to do.

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1 comment:

Alvin said...

We Must strike now. It is time to call the nay sayers to the Presidents stratagy and leadership what they are "Political Anachronism." Obsessed with a bygone form of "political rangling" of another era an old America. As we see they fringe on both sides stick together. Lets leave them where they are and the rest of us get on with the truly hard task of governing.