Sunday, February 08, 2009

Michael Steele is not very smart

So the shiny new chairman of the Republican party thinks that government-stimulated jobs are just work, but private-sector work is all JOBS and they'll last forever. Never mind the fact that the 8 years of tax-cut driven job-growth bonanza under our last president represented the LOWEST period of job growth since WWII. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

Here is a man who either hasn't even a vague clue about economics, or is such a partisan hack that he doesn't mind lying through his teeth to get the job done... either he's not very smart, or he'll say anything to oppose, obstruct and delay. How can addressing infrastructure needs that have been piling up since Saint Reagan convinced everyone that all government is bad and the private sector is the only group that can create the Shining City on a Hill be a short-term fix? Hell, we have enough real infrastructure needs to have projects going on for many years!

Whom does Steele think will do this work? Does he believe we'll suddenly have a Ministry of Work that runs the projects from start to finish, employing all the workers and manufacturing all the materials? Has he such a tenuous grasp on economics that he thinks there is a way to address these big infrastructure problems such as crumbling roads and bridges and an electrical grid largely designed in the 1950s such that all of the jobs and all of the money spent on the projects will just evaporate without any lasting effect on the economy?

I for one don't believe Steele is quite that stupid. I think he's really just a partisan hack who'll say anything to get on the news and get in the way. In his tiny, cold, calculating heart, Steele probably wants the stimulus to pass with as little Republican consent as possible, so they can go on saying what a horrible waste it is for another couple of years and pray that the economy is still wobbly when the 2010 election cycle rolls around.

The Republicans themselves ruined the very idea of government spending to fix things when they were given $350 billion dollars to buy up some toxic assets and stabilize the banking system, and instead they turned it into a big giveaway party to pay off John Thain's decorating bill and fund billions in bonuses to Wall Street zeroes who should be applying for unemployment instead. The real question is whether they were shrewd enough to think they were poisoning the well, or dumb enough to believe they'd get away with it.