Saturday, April 11, 2009

Reflections of a (very unhappy) former Bush-Bot in Obama-land

Yes, I admit it. I am a former Bush-bot. I believed we had something special with GWB in the 2000 Republican primary and was encouraged by Rush who I listened to every day since 1992. GWB was elected president after a close election with Gore in 2000. A few months later the September 11, 2001 attack and Bush response made him looked like a hero to almost everyone in the country, even black democrats. He reacted strongly and immediately in a way that Bill Clinton could only dream of. Even on the economy he seemed to take bold divisive action insisting on real tax cuts he had to fight to get congress to make. Yet somehow we end up here in 2009 with Obama as president, Pelosi as speaker and the public supporting anything Obama wants to do including socialism. We also had to put up with two painful years of GWB cutting deals with democrats, putting fellow republicans in a lose lose situation. The economy is in shambles and I am questioning my former mentors Hannity/Levin who I trusted so much. The final straw for me was when they told us to go door to door and tell neighbors to vote for McCain (Rush did NOT do this.)

I believed in GWB and I listened to Hannity and Levin. But the collapse of the economy, selection of McCain and two election losses told me that these talk radio hosts were wrong. The hero they held up as saviour of the economy and our country was a fake. My awakening took place during the painful period between November 2006 and November 2008 ending with John McCain being promoted urgently by talk show hosts Levin and Hannity. It was like I was freed from a cult. It was the GWB(so called real conservative) cult. To be fair to Rush he was close to the Bush family, defended GWB from 2000 to 2006 but he became discouraged with GWB in 2007 and Rush always stayed realistic on McCain never promoting him as our saviour, in fact warning us about the danger of having him as president.

I have concluded that the Iraq invasion and reconstruction unpopularity poisoned public opinion for Bush and created a negative theme (stirred by democrats) for everything that went wrong during Bush second term. The Bush tax cuts along with Iraq reconstruction, and Democrat talking points together, increased a huge demand in this country for "Where's mine??" . This is because Bush and Cheney sold the country the idea that government is free. Tax cuts will pay for additional spending and Iraq reconstruction will be paid for by Iraqi oil. This is all after the 1990s where the former republican congress (Dick Armey, John Kasich ) with Clinton taught us that we have to live within our means.

After Sept 11,2001 GWB/Cheney (and talk radio) told us we could fight two wars, rebuild Iraq , create homeland security and increase social spending(talk radio complained about this part) and still have our tax cuts, because it would help the economy. Bush took credit for a housing boom, minority home ownership and a fast recovering economy after Sept 11,2001. Yet long after he had lost most public support because of Iraq, the economy crashed between 2007 and 2008 GWB got the blame. It didnt help as he begged the democrat congress for a blank check for 700B to bailout the banks that he claimed was needed to avoid a great depression. The federal Reserve loose monetary policy had much of the responsibility for the post Sept-11 boom and bust. The problem is that the Bush brain-washers had already took credit for the boom and then later (when it was too late) tried to pass blame for the bust.

Let's look at some of the myths spread by my former cult 'The Bush bots': One of the most popular that is repeated over and over by followers was that direct taxation is redistribution but debt created by increased spending with tax cuts is ‘economic growth’. This is not exactly how it is sold but the way it always seem to be. The Republican (Keynesian) argument is that the tax cuts created economic growth that increased tax revenues that paid for the additional republican/so called conservative spending, conservative spending like the generally unpopular rebuilding Iraq after no WMDs were found. But why do the deficits always go up when taxes are cut with that increased spending? Because of the additional unconstitutional democrat spending like medicare prescription drugs. But what about when that unconstitutional spending was passed by a republican congress/president? Well that is because they were not ‘acting’ as conservatives. (other excuses are that GWB is a good man taking bad advice, or Bush did it because democrats wanted him to so it is their fault.) If only the congress and president acted ‘conservative’, cut taxes, invaded and rebuilt Iraq and told the public to take their social spending and shove it, there would be no debt, and republicans would be overwhelming elected. This supposedly is our path to victory. And what about the Bush tax cuts that took voters completely off the tax rolls? Did they pay for Iraq and other spending too?

Some of the diamonds in this mine of brilliant ideas are : 1) direct taxation to pay for spending is redistribution but republican/so called conservative spending/borrowing is economic growth because it pays for itself, 2) democratic (ie unconstitutional) debt even when passed by republicans is redistribution and Marxism, or worse. 3) big GWB debt/socialism is OK because GWB is a good man who means well and kept us safe, but the bigger Obama debt/socialism is bad because he is evil. Notice that ALL tax cuts supposedly pay for themselves. The democrats have co-opted this Keynesian argument.

If you still believe these myths then look how Pelosi and Obama co-opted all these talking points, now she says "government spending pays for itself by stimulating economy , and 95% of you get a tax cut further stimulating economy paid by rich", all co-opted from republicans.

Let's look at the great Bush economy that is referenced by the Bush-bots. The GDP to Debt ratio is supposed to justify the Bush/republican deficits. Government calculated GDP Gross_domestic_productis defined as GDP = consumption + gross investment + government spending + (exports − imports). The consumption and gross investment includes private debt to foreigners such as the bundled home loans, which is now being repayed by the bailouts. So the more risky debt and government spending, the more GDP (and tax revenues) and the better the government debt to GDP ratio looked. Both the private and public debt and government spending increased tax revenues creating another illusion. Once the paper card twin towers of debt collapsed the government ends up (like it or not) picking it all up. So now you have little GDP and lots of public debt.

Why do both political parties bail out the banks? Because their only hope is more private foreign investments/loans to start it over again. There is no other plan and tax cuts are no magic cure either, obviously they would be much better than spending, which will NEVER happen. Neither party has a cure, it’s all politics and both parties want their own power over us.

Our GWB economic boom (as far as republicans take credit for it) was made of two components: 1) public debt, 2) private debt(housing and consumer), both to foreigners. Its like running up all your wife's credit cards for gifts for her, and vacations for both of you (like on Judge Judy), then getting more credit cards under her name to use the ‘checks’ to pay the minimum payment on the other cards, and then telling her you have given her prosperity and good times. The initial credit card rates were 0% APR, cheap money/debt. Then came the crash. What happened? The credit card companies raised your interest rates and cut off some of the cash checks you used to make the minimum payment. As you didn't make some of the credit cards minimum payments the others withdrew your wife's credit.

So now we have Obama/Pelosi and a Republicans party that stands for nothing. We have Hannity and Levin that told us how good the Bush economy was, until it crashed and then claimed they knew all along that they knew it was Carter, Clinton and Barney Franks policies that killed economy. We have Obama expanding the Bush disastrous big government socialist debt based Bush policies. We have Levin calling Obama a Stalinist and calling Bush "a good man who tried to do the right thing but took bad advice"(like supporting RINO Sen Arlen Spector against conservative Pat Toomey in the 2004 Senate primary. Democrats are running us off a cliff but are trusted to do the right thing because Republicans are associated with everything bad. This view cannot be changed overnight by calling Obama a Marxist or Stalinist like my former mentors do (Rush doesn't do this). My big question is, "What would republicans do with power if the country ever trusts them again?".