House Speaker John Boehner published a propaganda video touting “Republican accomplishments.” The video features Republicans announcing many passed bills that the GOP claimed successful in aiding the economy and job growth. The video closed with Boehner asking President Obama “What are you waiting for?”
However, Republicans are really the group responsible for killing jobs, wrecking the economy, and disregarding the working class.
In the waning months of the Bush Administration, there was an enormous decrease in private sector jobs. This suffering economy carried over into the first year of Obama’s presidency, losing almost 800,000 jobs each month. It wasn’t until January 2010, effectively one year into Obama’s administration, when private sector jobs started increasing again. Since then, 4.5 million jobs have been created and the number of jobs continues rising. Surprising, considering the GOP’s job bill obstructionism.
During the peak of the 2012 election season, Senate Republicans killed the Veterans Job Corps Act of 2012. The bill was designed to lower veteran unemployment, provide grants to federal, state, and local agencies, thus opening up jobs for veterans as emergency responders and national park workers.
This bill was supposed to be a bipartisan effort to help military and former military gain employment. Instead, Senate Republicans claimed that the bill violated the Budget Control Act (BCA) saying that it overshot the BCA’s spending agreement. The Veteran Job Corps Act was a $1 billion bill and would have paid for itself with its own revenue over a decade. The bill stalled in the Senate after a 58-40 vote.
Senate Republicans killed The Bring Jobs Home Act earlier that year, which aimed at cutting back the outsourcing of American jobs. The bill offered tax breaks to companies that kept jobs within American borders. Republicans initially supported the bill, but flipped and filibustered when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) denied any chance of GOP amendments.
The tactic was really a Republican attempt to get Mitt Romney elected as president.
“At a time when millions of Americans are looking for work, I’m not sure what could be more serious than protecting good-paying, middle-class jobs,” said Reid. “This obstruction tactic is unfortunate, but it’s not surprising. After all, Republicans’ nominee for president made a fortune working for a company that shipped jobs overseas.”
The Republicans have been damaging and slowing America’s prosperity ever since the Bush years. President George Bush took office in 2000 with America having a budget surplus of $2.2 trillion. By 2008, Bush put America into $10 trillion of debt.
In Bush’s first year, he gave an $18,000 tax cut to those whose annual income was over $1 million. Vanity Fair indicated the cut as being “30 times larger than the cut received by the average American.” This tax cut kickstarted the widening of the class inequality gap in America and increased the poverty rate. From 2000 to 2007, the number of people in poverty increased by some 5.3 million people.
Two years later, the Iraq War and continuously pro-corporation, pro-Wall Street economic policy would lead to America’s financial crisis in 2008.
Reuters reported that the Iraq War cost the country little less than $2 trillion not including the extra half trillion dollars worth of benefits that the government owes veterans. The Bush Administration foolishly cut taxes for the wealthy again during the conflict, and America was forced to borrow from other countries to fund the war. The borrowing raised the national debt another $6.4 trillion.
Today, Democrats face consistent and unrelenting obstruction and opposition from Republicans. The White House faces opposition at every turn and Boehner himself has recently called out Republicans for not being willing to play ball. The Republicans have established a tradition of caving to the whims of the extremists in their party and now wish to disassociate themselves with those same groups.
This weak-spined and shortsighted history presented by Boehner ignores the role they’ve played in getting us here.