Send To Printer Email to Friend

The Republican War On Prosperity (Humor)
Stirling Newberry stnewberry@earthlink.net

"Resolved - that these estates are, and ought to be, tax free and aristocratic estates. That any allegiance between the Republican Party, and democratic principles, is hereby completely dissolved. That they have the right to steal money, ignore entreaties, wage war on prosperity, and do all those things that free and aristocratic estates ought to do. "

Relentlessly, ruthlessly, tirelessly they have fought. On the airwaves, in the Congress, in their publications, in the streets and in the halls of government they have fought. For years the Republicans have waged one of the most important struggles of our time, one on whose outcome rides the shape of our society for decades to come. If they are successful, never again will the middle class threaten the ordained social order. Hail to the Republican War on Prosperity, and the fruits that their victories are beginning to yield!

Consider the terrible circumstance that a mere 8 years of Democratic government had wrought. Real wages had increased from top to bottom of the economic scale. Home-ownership, both in real and percentage terms stood at the highest it had been in the century. The dollar was strong, but so was export growth. There had been a long peacetime expansion, which had robbed the imperative to build bases in far-flung rural areas, robbing them of their most basic industry. Worse still, the prosperity had settled deep into the economic strata that almost never see the light of day - it was a rising tide that had truly lifted all boats, leaving African-American employment at its highest level on record.

The result was a drop in crime that threatened to make urban living attractive again. The budget deficit, that marvelous mechanism for pumping money from the middle class to those who hold government bonds, was in retreat - there was the horrible potential for budget surpluses that would have drawn down the debt, thus lowering borrowing costs for all. And horror of horrors, it was moving to reduce pollution and wastes, thus imposing on those who profited from pollution the costs associated with it.

Compare this with the Reagan Recovery, one that left the middle of the income strata exactly the same at its end as it was before the Reagan Recession. One whose benefits remained concentrated near the top, leaving even the college educated only slender gains, once the loss in wealth caused by the decade's late real estate collapse were taken into account. One which had not dented African American unemployment, one which, by leaving the bottom two quintiles of the economy mired in debt and hopelessness, kept the door open to crime and drugs. One that, because of the lax regulation and gutting of rules, had allowed those with political connections to implode the saving's and loan system, and leave the public with the bill.

Yes, fellow Freep, it was a terrible situation. The party that had, on one hand, encouraged crime by preventing urban economic growth, and then campaigned on the fear of black rapists and black drug dealers was in a dangerous situation. Without an ever growing anti-crime industry, without an ever growing fear of the outside world, without ever growing mounds of garbage, the three fastest growing basic industries of the rural areas - military bases, prisons and garbage dumps - would be hobbled.

However, all was not lost. Since the recovery depended on an active and cooperative relationship between government and markets, and on a continual and intelligently restrained use of presidential power - it was vulnerable. Paralyze the presidency, and the rest of the government, and the entire system could collapse. The Republican Party, seeing that the situation was desperate, pledged their lies, their fortunes and scathing dishonor to defeating the scourge of prosperity - one which had imposed a terrible cost on the country in terms of air traffic delays, high flying technology companies and revitalization of the bicoastal economy.

And now look, after a mere few months in power what has been accomplished! Massive layoffs are again the fodder for the news, collusive business practices are again safe from prying anti-trust lawyers, illegal use of monopoly has resumed its position as a sacred right of large corporations, the estate tax has been repealed, and people are groveling happily for 300 dollar rebate checks, when under the previous order, they had watched their stocks go up by more than that in a morning.

Yes, sir, the cost of gas is through the roof, we are setting up a new Cold War, and all will be right with the world again. Forward to final victory, using social security to fuel wild gyrations in the stock market, passage of draconian bankruptcy laws that turn unsecured credit card debt into a millstone around the necks of those unfortunate enough to suffer a major medical disaster or personal loss. Forward to make perpetual the estate tax repeal, and to restructuring corporate taxes so that even more of the burden falls on the middle class.

With the dedication of the fine patriots of the Freeple's Republic, we can roll back the gains made in the last 8 years, we can roll back a century of legal advances by packing courts with legal theorists who reject, not merely the Warren Court, not merely the post-war amendments to the constitution, not merely the Declaration of Independence, but every charter of liberty ever signed, going back to the Magna Carta.

It will be difficult to erase Gettysburg, Runnymede and Valley Forge, but with the dedication shown by the true patriots of our glorious Freeple's Republic, it could happen in our lifetime.

That is, unless the people should awake, and move to stop us.