Let’s play pretend.
Let’s pretend we know what happens over the next two years while the Republicans have control of America’s House of Representatives and the Senate as well. Let’s pretend that they continue passing bills in the House to defund anything Obama tries to do either by veto or by executive order. Let’s pretend that in both chambers, rule changes are instituted on a regular basis. Rules that prevent any chance of Democrats funding any initiative that will provide more opportunities for rich and poor alike, strengthen and reinforce the tattered safety net, glue back together our crumbling infrastructure to keep things working and moving until a new infrastructure can be designed and built. Of course, we must also pretend that even environmental issues will need to be put aside so we can pretend to create jobs via tax cuts to those that have money, and less regulations on both good and bad, but especially pesky environmental and safety regulations. Yes, let’s pretend by a crooked hook they get everything they want, and more.
What will happen when they attain their goal of privatizing every single government function? Is it the end of government waste and fraud, saving the taxpayer billions of dollars every year? Is this how we achieve a lowered tax rate, but continue to live and prosper in the greatest nation ever made in the history of Earth, 3rd planet from the star Sol in the Milky Way galaxy? No, it’s not. But at that is exactly what the Republicans will pretend. What I don’t know for sure is just how many Republicans believe that their agenda, if implemented, will create the greatest nation ever made in the history of Earth and how many know it’s a game of pretend.
So what does happen? The meager improvements in the real unemployment figure will start to diminish and by the end of the two years turn negative just like in 2008. The persons whose wages have been stagnant lately will see their wages actually decrease, and those already suffering lowered wages will see their pay plummet. We probably will see prices begin to drop as demand almost entirely disappears.
You may have heard that recently, Mitch The Turtle McConnell, is taking the credit for our limping, but improving economy to the Republicans and people being thrilled about the Republicans gaining control of both Houses. He knows the reality is that any improvements have been in spite of Republican obstructionism, but that doesn’t matter. By 2016 he and the rest of the Republicans will be able turn in either direction. If things go well leading into the 2016 elections, the story will be that it is the Republicans that did it. If things turn sour (most likely), he can say that Obama’s veto pen, executive orders, and the Democrats in Congress obstructed all their initiatives. That story does not require truth to get in the way of its telling, the media will report as a “he said/she said” argument. But since we are pretending that the Republicans do get their way, then I am fairly certain that the economy will tank and the Republicans have already started to sow the seeds just for that outcome.
But I call this pretend because there are options open to the managers of the American economy. And the economic managers work for the executive branch. There are signs that some, particularly Senators Warren and Sanders, that are trying to force the executive branch to look for alternative answers. Warren’s blocking of another Wall Street guy to Treasury, and Sanders naming a leading Modern Money Theory advocate to be the minority economic adviser to Senate Budget committee. Together on two separate fronts these two are making it clear to the administration and the American people, that just maybe the ruin that Republican economic policies will create does not have to happen. And all their maneuvering to get their way will end up as an exercise for some future professor to say to her class, let’s play pretend.