Thursday, February 05, 2009

We have inherited a deep and dire economic crisis

The bad news just keeps on coming. The Labor Department reported today that the number of laid-off workers seeking jobless benefits rose to 626,000, from last week's figure of 591,000.

As President Obama put it in an editorial in today's WaPo:
By now, it's clear to everyone that we have inherited an economic crisis as deep and dire as any since the days of the Great Depression.

Because each day we wait to begin the work of turning our economy around, more people lose their jobs, their savings and their homes. And if nothing is done, this recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.
At some point we may not be able to reverse the crisis. Do the Republicans bent on obstructing the stimulus package understand the seriousness of our situation? It doesn't appear they do, or why else would they keep pushing tax cuts that major economists have already discredited? They're playing Russian roulette with our country and hoping Obama fails so they can score political points. Are the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans that inconsequential to them?

And it's not just Republicans putting our country in danger. The media shares a lot of the blame too. They promote Republican talking points as the truth and focus on stories that seem rather inconsequential compared to what's going on around us.

As John Cole put it:
Our media is simply failing us. Why have they not asked the Republicans how tax cuts are going to provide jobs? Why are they not laughing openly when the Republicans bring up capital gains tax cuts as part of a stimulus package. Why are they not asking the Republicans to explain how infrastructure spending is not stimulus? Why are they pretending this woman’s minor tax oversight is on par with outing a CIA agent or letting tens of thousands of people soak for a week in New Orleans. Why are they gleefully reporting about Joe the Plumber giving economic advice to the House republicans while their colleagues are writing about the Republicans being unified in opposition to the stimulus and putting two and two together and realizing that the opposition to the stimulus from Republicans is based on the deep thoughts of a drug addled radio host and a guy who installs toilets?
And why is the media not reminding people that President Obama voted against the war in Iraq, a war that likely will cost us $3 trillion dollars? He had the intelligence to look at the facts and do the right thing then, so we should be trusting him to do the right thing now.

Time is of the essence. Asking the right questions and doing the right thing might not be popular or sell many television ads, but it just might save our country from a crisis we may not be able to reverse. Is that a chance the media and Republicans are willing to take?


Kvatch said...

Did you read DeMint's alternative to the stimulus package: A breathtaking attempt to enshrine wealth transfer to corporations as a permanent fixture of the US economy.

Such chutzpah!

Kathy said...

Kvatch, not only did I read about DeMint's plan, I blogged about it too. Such chutzpah is an understatement.