And the Oscar for Best Acting in a Political Drama Goes to….

By Richard Thayer

There was a category missing from Sunday night’s Academy Awards: The Best Acting Category in a Political Drama. Had there been such an award, it would have gone to the Republican Party.

Despite what one might think of our men and women on the political stage, many of them are outstanding actors and are certainly worthy of an award.

Good actors, but, like Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan, they have the morals of alley cats.

The thespians on Capitol Hill have convinced many Americans (but thankfully not the majority) that the best way to balance the budget and creating jobs is by gutting the very programs that provide jobs. It’s an interesting concept and one that requires great acting in order to sell it to the American public.

But is it possible to cut billions of dollars from federal programs that employ people and create jobs at the same time?

According to one report out Monday (February 28) by Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi, the Republicans’ economic plan for 2011-2012 will not create jobs. Not only will it not create jobs, it will actually destroy them. How many you ask? Oh, somewhere around 700,000. That’s destroy, not create.

Zandi, who has been an economics adviser for both parties, says the Republican plan would not only cut money now being spent by the federal government, but it would also cut economic growth by 0.5 percent this year and an additional 0.2 points next year.

But, hey, he’s only an economist, what does he know about money? As John Boehner would say dismissively, “He’s welcome to his opinion.”

“Say, Captain, sonar has reported an iceberg up ahead, shouldn’t we do something to avoid it?”

“Naw, that’s just its opinion. Full speed ahead.”

Last week the investment bank Goldman Sachs reported a similar scenario, reporting that the Republican plan would put the brakes on economic growth, not stimulate it.

But, again, what does Goldman Sachs know about finances?

Writes Zandi in his report: “Significant government spending restraint is vital, but given the still halting economic recovery, it would be counterproductive for that restraint to begin until the economy is creating enough jobs to bring down the still very high unemployment rate.”

The Oscar-worthy play-acting by our country’s politicians also has many in the audience believing that the reason for our economic problems are those evil unions which make so much money on the backs of the “taxpayers” and certainly not those angels on Wall Street. And, oh, those billion dollar corporations really need those tax breaks. They don’t deserve to suffer.

Yeah, let’s make the unions pay. And let’s cut funding to unnecessary government programs like the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Labor Relations Board. Totally unnecessary.

Yep, while the Republicans strut their stuff on stage and get the golden statuette for acting, the American public gets the gold-plated screw for gullibility.

Congratulations, we all win something.


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