By Jack Jodell, Sept. 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day, everybody! Conservative Republicans and their dastardly Tea Party allies are giddy. They smell an Obama defeat in 2012, and they are laughing uproariously at the thought that the White House will soon belong to them once more. But their laughing, just like their economic policy recommendations,, is a sign of their backwardness. For these groups hate President Obama with a passion, mainly and irrationally just because he is not one of THEM. As a former community organizer who also happens to be a person of color, they don’t have the time of day for him. They have proven time and again they will say or do anything to bring about his defeat, even WRECK THE AMERICAN ECONOMY!

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and his rabid bunch of tea partiers are heralding the already discredited notion of tax cuts as the only way to create jobs, and are, in the process, smugly laughing us back into 1937. For, in 1937, just like today, the country was mired in a horrible economic downturn called the Great Depression. Just like now, conservatives managed to convince then-Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt to cut back on government spending, which had reduced unemployment from its horrible high of 25 MILLION three years prior. His stimulative New Deal spending programs had helped bring nearly 8 million jobs to the unemployed through such fabulous programs as the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration, The establishment of Social Security, unemployment compensation, the minimum wage, welfare, and the legalization of labor unions all provided sorely-needed relief to those our economy had all left behind. What’s more, they added to the creation of what eventually became a huge, prosperous middle class! These programs were financed mainly through INCREASED TAXES ON THE WEALTHY, and they did MUCH good for a great number of people. Of course, conservatives of that time, as heartless and uncaring then as they are today, spitefully and wrongfully declared these efforts would bankrupt the country. They ridiculed the recipients of WPA jobs, calling them slackers and snidely referring to the program as “We Poke Along.” I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT NONE OF MY 4 UNCLES WHO HELD WPA JOBS WERE “SLACKERS”, AND THAT THEIR JOBS DEFINITELY HELPED THEM PUT BREAD ON THE TABLE FOR THEIR FAMILIES! So, while unemployment still remained high, millions DID obtain  jobs and direct, immediate relief as a result of these programs, Further, the effects of these GOVERNMENT-CREATED JOBS can be seen to this very day. Workers employed by them created parks, office buildings, and schools, and numerous roads, dams, and bridges were built as well. (Government jobs would again provide massive employment and create an entirely new infrastructure for the country 20 years later with the Interstate Highway Program under the direct support of then-REPUBLICAN President Dwight Eisenhower)!

By 1937, the positive effects of New Deal programs were beginning to have a definite impact on lessening the devastating effects of the Depression. Again, unemployment was still high, but it was measurably better than it had been, and there were signs of recovery in the air.  Federal consumption and investment had risen from 9% to 16% of GDP from 1929 to 1937. But then, listening to advice from conservatives who were worried about inflation, FDR slashed federal spending in an effort to balance the budget, and the immediate  effect was DEVASTATING. WPA rolls were immensely cut back, and public works projects slowed to a crawl. As a result of following this conservative approach in the midst of economic crisis, unemployment ROSE from 14.3% in 1937 to nearly 19% in 1938, rising from 5 million to 12 million in that brief time. THE CONSERVATIVE APPROACH OF REDUCING DEBT AND BALANCING THE BUDGET IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ECONOMIC CRISIS WAS THE WRONG APPROACH IN 1037, AND IT IS WRONG AGAIN TODAY!

Let me explain this to you in an easy-to-understand way. If we compare our current economic downturn to a FIRE IN YOUR HOUSE SET BY IRRESPONSIBLE REPUBLICAN-LED EASING OF REGULATIONS ON WALL STREET AND BANKING, and Obama’s stimulus efforts as WATER which is supposed to put out that fire, you may be entirely justified in noticing and complaining that your house is still on fire, even after the President had poured some water on it, so therefore the President’s efforts were a failure. The question isn’t whether he should have poured water on your house, though; the question is whether he had poured ENOUGH water on it, and he certainly hasn’t. Keep in mind, however, to get ANY Republican support for his stimulus bill, he had to sweeten it for them by setting aside a large part of it for tax cuts for Republican business allies (which accomplished little) and most of the rest went to propping up the very “too big to fail” Wall Street banks who got us into this mess to start with! MAIN STREET, “SHOVEL-READY” PROJECTS GOT VERY LITTLE STIMULUS MONEY AT ALL, SO THEY REMAIN DEPRESSED AND UNSTIMULATED, AND UNEMPLOYMENT REMAINS STUCK AT 9.1%.

So the correct answer on how to reduce unemployment is to LAUNCH A NEW SERIES OF STIMULUS EFFORTS, TARGETING THEM THIS TIME AT MAIN STREET INSTEAD OF WALL STREET! The conservative Republicans and tea party fools are sadly mistaken to say that Obama’s initial stimulus program was a “failure”: it most certainly WASN’T! It kept the rest of the economy from collapsiong; saved hundreds of thousands of police, fire, and teacher jobs; and most importantly, IT RESCUSED GENERAL MOTORS AND CHRYSLER! They are also wrong to  hink that more tax cuts for corporations or the wealthy will create jobs. They never have, and THEY NEVER WILL! For these conservatives to not support a new round of  WORK-SPECIFIC projects would be just like them shutting off the water main completely while the President is trying to hose down the flames which are destroying your house!

Keep in mind, folks, that for Speaker of the House John Boehner R-OH) to ask defiantly “Where are the jobs?”, he should be looking at himself squarely in a mirror as he mouths the words. For he and the ENTIRE Republican caucus have YET to sponsor or pass even ONE ESINGLE  jobs-producing/ jobs- program bill this year, AND THEY HAVE HAD SINCE JANUARY 5 TO DO SO! Instead, both he and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), as well as Eric Cantor, have dragged their heels and allowed the crazed Tea Party faction of their miserable GOP to take it over completely and drag all efforts to improve jobs and the economy to a dead standstill. 


President Obama is to address both houses of Congress on the subject of jobs this Thursday night. I sincerely hope he will propose bold new programs to create shovel-ready jobs NOW for millions of Americans! Repairing our bridges and schools, and modernizing our freeways and updating our power grids would create many millions pf jobs. Charging utility companies a fee for accessing those new grids could help pay for part of the cost. He MUST do this, and THE MISERABLE TEA-PARTY EXTREMISTS AND CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS MUST SUPPORT HIM! WE CANNOT HAVE ANOTHER 1937!

One more thing before I go: MR. BOEHNER, WHERE THE HELL ARE THE JOBS YOU PROMISED? You had damn well start getting to work on producing them, and STOP PLAYING ANTI-OBAMA POLITICS WITH EVERYTHING!!!

About jackjodell53

I am an American Dissident trapped in a country where poor and middle class people are constantly being exploited and lied to by a very rigid and conservative plutocratic elite. I believe in government OF, FOR, and BY the people, not one controlled as it now is by corporations and special interests.
This entry was posted in commentary, conservative Republicans, labor unions, news, Politics, Progressives, taxes, Tea Party, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to LAUGHING US BACK TO 1937!

  1. Darlene says:

    I really like your analogy of the house on fire, Jack. It makes it so easy to understand.

    We both know that the Republicans are going to let the house burn to the ground. And the house is our country.

  2. Hello Jack,
    A happy Labor Day to you too. My father worked in the 3C’s (Civilian Conservation Corps) and when WWII broke out, he went into the Army Air Corp. He later obtained his college degree on the G.I. bill.

    One has to wonder if conservatives enjoy their weekends off, lunch breaks, and safe working conditions. Without the union’s efforts in the past, corporations would force employees to work 20 hour days for whatever wage the corporations could get away with, and if workers lived in poverty, so be it. After WWII, the prosperity America enjoyed was because unions aided workers with living wages and bargaining power.

    With higher wages came more home ownership, tax revenue, and buying power. Union wages also helped build the middle class in America. When conservatives demonize unions, it is to protect corporations, and in effect, destroy the middle class. I have just finished a posting on this subject.

    The Goober Ultra Right Conservatives that give Ronald Reagan credit for bring down the Communist Party and Leadership in Russia need to review history of how it really happened. I would more correctly point out that it was September 1980 in Poland that a trade union, Solidarity (Solidarność) at the Gda’nsk Shipyard led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Walesa, did more towards this than any American President. Russia’s Communist Leaders did not relinquist their power hold on Poland without a struggle. Through out that year the government implemented martial law, arrested Lech Walesa, and tried to use brute force by mandating martial law in an attempt to quell nationwide civil unrest and protest.

    On the 4th of April 1989 Round table negotiations were held between that Worker’s Union “Solidarity” and the then Communist government resulting in semi-free parliamentary elections in Poland, a pivotal moment in the fall of the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe. Solidarity’s leader, Lech Walesa is elected President in August of that year.

    It was a Worker’s Trade Union that put the crack into the Iron Curtain which eventually brought it down with no U.S. military men harmed or killed…..NOT Ronald Reagan.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Engineer of Knowledge,
      EXCELLENT and accurate memories of what really happened to bring down the Soviet Union! It was INDEED Solidarnosc, a trade union, which started the ball rolling, NOT bellicose talking or increased defense spending by Reagan.

      You truly do understand the importance of labor unions to this country and the whole world. I would urge you to dump the party which has obviously dumped you, and begin anew politically as a progressive anywhere else. The world needs more thinkers like you!

  3. Hello Jack,
    I indeed find it hard to be within my Republican Party as it is now, about 85% of Teabagger, Ultra Right Wing Nut Jobs that are about as ignorant and dumb as they come. These mindless, non-thinking, lemmings are only driven by nihilistic rhetoric of some imaginary world that they believe in.

    It was just a couple of days ago I heard a term that I had not heard since I was a young man. The term was “Southern Traditionalist.” Back in the 1960’s when the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing, those who opposed “Equal Rights” being applied to all citizens in the United States, referred to themselves as “Southern Traditionalist.”

    That was the buzz word or palatable name for those who were sympathetic to those common viewpoints of the Ku Klux Klan.

    Today the current buzz word or palatable name for those who once again are sympathetic to the same Ultra Right Wing Conservatism are calling themselves “Tea Party” members or simply the shorter, “Patriot.”

    Whether one uses the old 1960’s Southern Traditionalist or today’s current “Patriot,” these people are all one in the same.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Amen, brother! They are not patriots in the least. Rather than adopting a sensible evolution to what our founding fathers intended, they have perverted and actually rewritten for their own purposes what was really intended back in revolutionary American times. They are destructive heretics.

  4. Many, many good points in this, Jack, and like Darlene, I like your fire/water analogy.

    Unfortunately, Republicans are going to do the same thing they’ve done so far: obstruct. If there was ever any doubt about the political gains they could make by thwarting Obama and the Democrats, and keeping as many people as possible jobless and miserable, or scared if they do have a job, last November’s election erased it. Obama must offer a serious plan anyway, and he must fight for it like he means it. Not because he’s likely to get it passed this year, but because it’s going to make an impression on voters. Also, because it’s crucial to Democrats supporting him next year.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Thank you, S.W.
      You are right on all accounts. The plan he offers Thursday night will make or break his reelection, and could and should break the Republicans.

  5. Jolly Roger says:

    Engineer is partially right, but the trade unions were administering the final bullets in most cases.
    The USSR was brought down by a combination of huge sums of money thrown at the military, unpopular wars, slipping living standards for the citizens, and a political elite that neither knew nor cared about the struggles of average Soviet citizens. Moreover, a vast majority of Soviet citizens would have preferred to save the USSR, but concluded that the political structure was so rotten that letting it fall apart was as good an option as they had at the time.

    Sound familiar?

    I certainly hope that the President’s modest proposal is seriously debated, and studied, but I’m not hopeful. Our entrenched political class, much like the Supreme Soviet, has little knowledge of the struggles of the schmucks.

  6. jackjodell53 says:

    Jolly Roger,
    The scenario you describe sounds horribly familiar. I believe though that the Tea Party is not composed of those who take voters for granted, or do not care about them. Instead, many of them were relative political novices that were stirred into a frenzy and then financed by far right ideologues like Dick Armey and the Koch brothers. They simply have become pawns in the game for those extremists, and their tax and government hating agenda fits in perfectly with the aims of these sinister libertarians. As such, they are completely WRONG in their focus of rage. They should be biting and severing the diabolical hand which has been feeding them instead of naively carrying out its wishes.

    I DO agree that a huge number of establishment politicians (Mitch McConnell, Ben Nelson, Joe LIEberman, Jon Kyl, Kevin McCarthy and others) don’t understand or even care in the least about the needs of the average citizen. Every single one of those bastards ought to be retired permanently without pension!

  7. mudrake says:

    The WPA created millions of jobs for the desperate and unemployed Americans in the 1930’s. Today we drive over the bridges they created for us. Yet, if one listens to the right-wingers, you would be led to believe that the Federal Government was the Devil incarnate. Too bad they slept through their American History classes. Too bad that they give their brains over to 24/7 talk radio. Gawd! What a terrible double-whammy!

    • jackjodell53 says:

      And it will REALLY be too bad and a giant waste of money if any more of those lame brains gets elected to political office! Too bad we taxpayers don’t have line-item veto on their congressional paychecks!

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