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Republicans Want the Economy to Suck

Last week, the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits went up, causing widespread speculation that even though corporate profits are up, the economy is not recovering from the great recession and may even be heading for a dreaded “double dip recession”. One of the main things being blamed for this problem is high energy prices, as the price of gasoline — fueled by conflicts in the middle east — has refused to come down in any significant way. With the normal increase in oil consumption in the summer as people drive more and use more air conditioning, the economy could get even worse.

Companies have pulled back on hiring because of high gas and food prices, driven by excessive speculation in those commodities. So Obama did something smart — he released 5% of the US Strategic Petroleum Reserves. And he got other nations to release an equivalent amount of oil.

His timing was perfect. Oil prices had been falling slightly, making speculators nervous. By releasing oil now, he is effectively shorting the price of oil, which will force speculators to sell, further lowering the price of oil.

Now here is where it gets ironic. You’d think Republicans would be happy, since this will help lower the deficit they claim to be so worried about. But they hate Obama so much that they instinctively disagree with everything he does. So they (pretty much unanimously) attacked the move as purely political. House Speaker John Boehner said “By tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the president is using a national security instrument to address his domestic political problems.”

Fixing unemployment, the economy, and high gas prices is purely political? Does anyone else hear what the Republicans are admitting? If getting the economy going again will help Obama politically, then they want the economy to continue to suck. Even worse, they want the speculators to continue to drive up prices and create bubbles.

You can figure out the rest.

UPDATE: Remember this when the Republicans force the government to default. They aren’t actually interested in reducing the deficit, they are interested in making the economy worse. Does anyone wonder if it was a coincidence that the economy stopped recovering when Republicans retook the House in November?



  1. Bard wrote:

    I was thinking the same thing this morning when I was channel surfing and stopped on Fox News. They were bashing it as an attempt to save his poll numbers and a horrible move. Meanwhile you got the feeling that if a Republican did the same thing they would be praising him.

    And how about congress looking to cut funding for the Libya mission? It’s amazing how all Bush ever faced were non-binding resolutions from Congress about Iraq and Afghanistan, but for Obama it’s lets go right for the neck. Sickening.

    Friday, June 24, 2011 at 10:02 am | Permalink
  2. Dan wrote:

    Raise taxes on the rich and we won’t have as many problems with speculators.
    I wonder how the Republicans will spin the fact that the economy was getting better until they took control of the House? If I were a Democrat running for office that’s what I would be campaigning on. The attention span of Americans is very short, make it simple, don’t explain.
    There are some signs along the road near here that I just scratch my head over. “Does Tax and Spend Brother You? Vote Republican” “Taxes matter, it’s your money, Vote Republican” and my personal favorite “Simulate the Economy, not the Government, Vote Republican”
    Tax and spend is what governments do, it’s the spend without taxes that bothers me. It isn’t my money, it’s the bank’s, and Republicans have fought against stimulus bills since the down turn started. Time to go back to “demand side economics.”

    Friday, June 24, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink
  3. Us and them. You’re never going to break this game.

    Friday, June 24, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Permalink
  4. ebdoug wrote:

    I just contacted Schumer again that we must let the tax cuts expire at the end of next year. Remember without Bush’s tax cuts, we’d have had a balanced budget by 2007. Obama might not have won the election. Once the economy crashed in 2008, “The election was Obama’s to lose.” Republicans didn’t have a chance.

    Saturday, June 25, 2011 at 4:32 am | Permalink