If there are three things in which Tea-tainted Republicans excel more than anything else, it’s lying, cheating, and stealing. Five years after President Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, some of the same Republicans who have been its most outspoken critics in public have also been among its boldest promoters on their home front. This expected hypocrisy came about the usual way — demagogue your way into power, then sing your enemy’s song for personal gain.
A brief history:
The Recovery Act came with a price tag of $800 billion, and coupled with the Affordable Care Act of 2010, were used as fear-mongering fund-raising tools by Tea Party fronts like Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks. Grown from the astroturf lining the Koch Brothers’ pockets, a Tea-tainted Republican majority took over Congress in the 2010 midterms. The cost of the Recovery Act and the lack of instant gratification with its results made for effective right-wing populist exploitation. The nuances and historical reliability of Keynesian economics were no match for the onslaught of trickle-down tall tales and debt paranoia promoted by Fox News and hundreds of talk radio gasbags.
In order to keep up appearances, Speaker John Boehner (R-Coppertone) has continued to deride the Recovery Act:
[box type=shadow]“The ‘stimulus’ has turned out to be a classic case of big promises and big spending with little results,” he said. “Five years and hundreds of billions of dollars later, millions of families are still asking ‘where are the jobs?’”[/box]
That provides an excellent orange-tinted cover for what is otherwise outright deceit on how many Republicans really feel about the stimulus, especially since they must constantly troll their constituents for votes. In October 2009, Paul Ryan (R-Eddie Munster) wrote a letter to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis asking for funds to secure “1,000 green jobs” in his district. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Those Silly Ethics) used funds for a job fair in Culpeper, Virginia.
There isn’t enough
sunscreen smokescreen to cover Boehner himself, who praised federal officials when they demanded Ohio “use all of its construction dollars for shovel-ready projects that will create much-needed jobs.”
This is how they conduct relations with their constituents. Campaign and vote against job-creating legislation, then cynically claim you use that same legislation because your constituents need jobs — all to appease rejects from a Bicentennial Costume Ball.
So five years out, how is the Recovery Act coming along? Considering the recent attempts to impede it with austerity measures such as sequestration, and unemployment only slightly receding, it is gradually acquitting itself. This chart shows its effect on the GDP:
I am sure it won’t be long before the Republicans claim sole credit for the shrinking deficit too. Lying, cheating, and stealing is what they do best.
h/t: Think Progress