This piece by Ezra Klein sums up quite well the Republican approach to fixing the economy.
Here’s the state of world economic policymaking in two sentences: Those who want to act to boost the economy can’t. Those who can act to boost the economy won’t.
This works for pretty much any set of institutional actors you might like to name. Take the United States. The Federal Reserve can act — or, at the least, it says it can act — but it doesn’t want to. The president would like to act, but can’t do it without Congress. Democrats in Congress would like to act, but can’t do it without Republicans in Congress. Republicans in Congress can act, but they won’t.
There is something terribly dysfunctional about a political system that has the losing party begin its political campaign for the next election the day after the presidential inauguration. Such was the case with the election of Barack Obama. In October 2010, Mitch McConnell revealed the strategy which had been in play and would continue to be in play all the way to November 2012.
“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
Single most important thing. Not the housing crisis…or the millions of unemployed, or the millions without health insurance, or the trillion dollar wars, or the worst recession of the last 70 years. No, the single most important thing for the Republican Party was taking down Obama by any means possible and that included obstructionist politics as a means of ensuring that the economy would suck all the way to election day.
Bottom line? There’s a lot that could be done to boost the recovery right now and improve long-term fiscal prospects for later. But those who would like to pass such policies can’t, and those who can pass such policies won’t. And so here we are.
Can you spell vile?