Letter 2 America for February 22, 2021

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Dear America,

It is a tremendous relief to have Trump out of the White House, though he persists in public life like a bad haircut.  We won't be able to heave a definitive sigh of relief until after the 2024 mid-terms, but until shortly before then, we'll at least be able to enjoy a hiatus from the political chaos that he wreaked upon our nation.  But the Republicans are still here, and so are the pandemic, fiscal issues like the deficit, and overarching it all is the question of how we can separate fact from political propaganda.  For example, conservative Republicans, along with Democratic senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia, are sowing seeds of doubt about the amount of money that our government and our society in general need to propagate whatever growth we can engender.  This capitol-hill squall isn't just the perpetual debate about  whether governmental, Keynesian infusions of cash for the masses work versus supply-side myths about the rich raining wealth down on us all; Keynesianism as a long lived form of populist econo-political philosophy versus Reaganism as the mantra of wealthy people trying to justify economic inequality with "voodoo economics."  Today, the conservatives want to debate whether our government has even used what our congress has provided to the people already.  Manchin and the others point to the fact that there is close to $ 1 billion impacted like wisdom in the jaws of what is arguably Trump's and the Republicans' obstructive government regulatory morass from the end of 2020 about which they ordinarily have complained in political campaigns.

The question is, what's true and what isn't, but not about the two disparate overall strategies for dealing with the greatest economic catastrophe since the depression--greater even than what the Republicans behind the leadership of their chosen leader, W, caused with mortgage giveaways that made huge profits for the banks who funded their lending gambling habit with the common weal.  No, rather about whose fault it is that the aid that was intended to finance a recovery with aid to businesses, the unemployed, states, cities and towns is sitting in various treasuries waiting to be disbursed because eligibility is such a convoluted conundrum to unravel and those who are ostensibly eligible want to spend the money slowly so they can still have some of it if they need it later.  Of course, the magnitude of the debt we are racking up to fund this recovery is staggering if it is even conceivable, so the conservative hand wringing isn't entirely without merit.  As we exceed a national debt of $23 trillion, prudence does dictate that we assume something more substantive than a cavalier attitude toward it, but there are legitimate questions that need to be considered rather than attempting to stack them up against a political adversary for hypothetical electoral gain.  To put it concisely, if we aren't going to go with Biden's $1.9 trillion plan, what are we going to do other than hold what has already been allocated but remains in the tight fist of the executive branch that sponsored the effort over our nation's head as if it is theirs to deploy?

Mitch McConnell tried to save his political ass by playing both sides against the middle during the second impeachment process and thereafter, but my guess is that this time, it isn't just the Democrats who see him for the cynical megalomaniac and political conniver that he is.  He's up for reelection in 2026 when he'll be 84, but my guess is that he will retire sooner now that his dream of being Senate Majority Leader has been realized.  He will claim glory and walk away like the hero of conservatism that he wants to be remembered as, ignoring the price the nation paid for that vainglory and arrogating to himself the title of eldest statesman of the Republican Party.  His departure will lead to an internecine struggle within the party that will leave political bodies in the street and, while the Democrats may lose both houses of congress in 2022, they'll sweep back in when the Republican blood bath ends, because they will be so unscrupulous in defaming each other that none of them will be unscathed.  Even tarnished politicians can rise again, but not when it is their own who tarnish them.

Unfortunately, we have this socio-economic mess to contend with while all this is going on, and the Republicans have no compunction about seizing this opportunity for self-aggrandizement at the expense of the Democrats, or at least so they think.  But I predict that the Democrats will allow the Republicans to hoist themselves by their own petard by sabotaging the recovery Biden and the Democrats are advocating for.  I mean why wouldn't the Democrats avail themselves of the political gain that Republican dissembling will put in their hands.  That's what the Republicans are trying to do, isn't it?  

Your friend,


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This page contains a single entry by Michael Wolf published on February 22, 2021 2:56 PM.

Letter 2 America for February 11, 2021 was the previous entry in this blog.

Letter 2 America for March 1, 2021 is the next entry in this blog.

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