Monday, October 25, 2010

Midterms Matter - Newsweek

We all know that Obama is wicked smart.  And often Democrats are so endeared by his savoir faire and ability to just click with his audience that we forget the pickle we're in because of rube 'fly-over' country who are getting scared because they do not understand that debt is a good thing.  More importantly though, it's always useful to review just what these mid-terms mean.

If the extremist Republicans take over, they could actually repeal Health Care.  And if they put consumers back in charge and clear away most of the regulation and make pricing public, why, it is entirely possible that the cost of health care could plummet!  Then where would we be?  It would be difficult to argue that you would lose your job and your house if you got sick, what with consumers buying insurance directly and costs dropping like a stone.  Who knows, they might even begin subsidizing individuals instead of institutions, and imagine the money they'd raise if they sold some hospitals.  It might spell the end of government run health care forever!  Even worse, the model might inspire them to attack other huge programs that we Democrats have fought for decades to achieve.

Democrats could begin by asking squishy Independents what would have happened if Republicans were in charge and didn't bail out GM.  Sure, the brands would have been sold to other companies so the claim that a million jobs would be lost is pure poppycock.  But think of the haircut the unions would have had to take to put them on par with BMW and Toyota in the Southeast.  I can just hear the lines getting retrofitted right now with more robotics to meet Asian productivity.  At least the GM bail-out preserved the union American dream for those GM workers!

And too many Republicans are arguing that the stimulus only propped up public sector jobs and failing Medicare coffers, doing nothing for the people out of work while running up a huge debt.  But just think of what the economy would be like if bureaucrats were also out of work.  Now tell me, is saving taxpayer money worth forcing the public sector to share in the burden?  I highly doubt it.

And what with the foreclosures going on, and the banks having trouble actually coming up with the titles to the houses, many of the Tea Partiers are pointing at fat cat Republicans and Democrats alike for bailing out the banks who should have taken the lion's share of the haircut for selling a pig in a poke.  Some are even saying that bailing the banks out didn't mitigate the risk or the recession at all; it just shifted the exposure to the people.  But that doesn't sound like Keynes to me.  Is it?  Anyway, I'm sure the Democrats did the right thing with Finance reform by ensuring the next time the big banks fail, the government will quietly bail them out right away so the populace doesn't have to get all scared and angry again.

Finally, the next thing you know Republicans will be telling us that since we're using fossil fuel for 90% of our energy anyway, we might as well make drilling and refining legal here in the USA and create a million jobs or more.  That will ruin our clean-energy projects which we've been working on since the 1960s, and I really feel we're on the cusp of a breakthrough that could punch solar and wind power to a strong 10% of our energy, even if it does cost 4 times as much.

So we Democrats have a great deal to talk about with each other and with independants in order to get fired up about the elections.  Let's get started!

Thanks to Jonathon Alter: Midterms Matter - Newsweek for the inspiration for this post.

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