Austerity and American Exceptionalism: Stubbornness Before the Downfall

“None of this is necessary,” said President Obama during his weekly address to the nation. “It’s happening because Republicans in Congress chose this outcome over closing a single wasteful tax loophole that helps reduce the deficit.”

How ridiculous that we’ve arrived at this point. And how utterly exhausting for the nation. We’re wrapping up yet another week watching the train wreck that is U.S. politics at work — or not working, depending on how one views it.

The GOP response follows:

Why is it that the Republican Party considers anything that further devastates the middle class “smart” policy? The party that touts fiscal responsibility is the party that spent freely in the form of tax cuts for the wealthy and numerous wars when they held the presidency and congressional majorities is now screaming for reduced government and spending.

The Age of AusterityWhy is it that the rest of the world and economists of note — and now even Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke — know that drastic spending cuts, strict austerity measures, are not working?

Much of our fiscal crisis is manufactured in Washington; the budget and debt “problems” pushed endlessly throughout the news cycle are not near-term problems but, rather, focus on more distractions. The nation’s much larger crisis is the lack of attention paid to job creation and unemployment figures that are still too high. More jobs would mean lower unemployment would mean more tax revenue would mean a lower deficit would mean lower debt. It’s arithmetic.

There used to be a time when American exceptionalism was all about being stubborn — the good kind of stubborn persistence in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. Now it’s about stubbornness for the sake of being right, even when all evidence points to being as wrong as wrong can be. The problem is that those making the mistakes are not those who pay the price.

That’s your government at work, folks!