The idea is if you take away food stamps and unemployment benefits, people will magically stop drinking and smoking and start finding jobs in this horrible economy or (more likely) non-magically just starve to death (which the Tea Partiers secretly would like). And if you cut government spending and give all that welfare and social security and Medicare money back to the rich people who earned it, they will start hiring and turn the economy around through the goodness of their Scrooge McDuck hearts.
But this ignores the fact that no rich person in history has ever created a job because of a tax cut. There is one reason and one reason only that any business owner has ever created any job: market demand. Just handing out free money to rich people isn’t going to give the rest of us plebes any spending power. For better or worse, in places like St. Lawrence County
, the middle class would not exist without government workers like teachers, firefighters, police officers, and corrections officers. When the government “tightens its belt,” “shows some austerity,” “makes the tough choices,” or whatever other shitty metaphor you want to throw out there, real live people suffer. Laid off teachers and other government workers lose out on real money that they would spend at actual places of business. Yes, the trickle down effect is real, but not in the pretend way government-starving Teabaggers imagine it, where the Montgomery Burnses
of the world let their tax break pocket change roll down to the masses. When middle class government workers get laid off, they stop spending, and places like the grocery store and the hardware store and the diner lose business, causing private sector workers to lose their jobs too.
I know it sounds counterintuitive, but the worst thing government can do in a recession is cut spending
. The federal government, unlike private business, has the power to print money. It’s a moral crime to not use that power when people are suffering and when the alternative means more people will lose their jobs and homes. I don’t give a shit about those assholes in the financial sector worried about what inflation will do to the value of their investments. Those are the same dipshits responsible for the meltdown in 2008. They got a multibillion dollar government bailout then. I’m sure they can get more free money again when they cry about inflation hurting their fee-fees (and it’s especially galling to hear rich bankers cry about it, because inflation can sometimes be a good thing; when the value of money goes down it lowers the actual value, and hence burden, of mortgage and student loan debt for middle class people).
But, hey, if Willard Romney is elected, I bet we can get some Paul Ryan-style budget-slashing welfare reform, and then the displaced workforce can be joined by the soon-to-be unemployed grocery store cashiers who will no longer have any poor shoppers to look down upon.