Contrary to what they would like you to believe, policies put forth by the Republican Party have had a strong negative impact on the economy of the United States. Some economists have estimated that Republican spending policies have cut U.S. growth in half this year.
Business leaders have specifically complained of their frustration with the intransigence of the Tea Party, saying that they (the Tea Party) are bad for business. The long-standing love affair between business and the GOP is on the rocks.
Moderate Republicans recognize the problems in the new GOP and may feel much like one-time Florida Governor Charlie Crist. Crist, who served from 2007-2011 as a Republican, is planning another run at the office as a Democrat. He says that he didn't leave the party, the party left him.
Family Dollar CEO Howard Levine said the government shutdown, which caused a great deal of uncertainty among Americans cut deeply into their sales. Read about it here.
Discount retailers like Target and Dollar General cited problems caused by Congress refusing to continue payroll tax cuts, which came to an end on December 31. While pledging to avoid any tax hikes, Republicans were unwilling to extend the tax cuts. Read about it here.
Across-the-board spending cuts forced into the sequester by Republicans are causing Defense contractor Lockheed Martin plans to cut 4,000 more jobs. The company has already cut 30,000 jobs worldwide since 2008. Read about it here.
Walmart's year-end sales estimates were lowered because of cuts to the food-stamp program, cuts that were forced by the Republican party. Read about it here.
Cisco CEO John Chambers recently blamed the government shutdown for poorer-than-expected quarterly earnings. He said that the shutdown "exasperated" business leaders, whose confidence in our government was already at very low levels. Read about it here.
GOP leaders like to say that our spending is out of control and that President Obama is responsible for a dramatic increase in both spending and the deficit. The truth is that U.S. public investment is actually at its lowest point since 1948 Read about it here and deficit spending has been cut in half since 2009 Read about it here.
It's interesting that every administration glitch, real or imagined is described by GOP leaders as "Obama's Katrina." Their benchmark for a horrible presidential mis-step is one actually taken by their own standard bearer. The real Katrina may just be the Republican Party. It's estimated that GOP-backed austerity has cost the U.S. economy some 2 million jobs. Read about it here.
Republicans are probably going to be on the wrong side of history once health care reform in this country has grown up. They've done everything in their power to sabotage the Affordable Care Act and not once, since 2009 come up with any sort of plan of their own. None. Their version of health care for millions of uninsured Americans is for them to try to stay healthy or go the emergency room.
In states run by Democratic governors, insurance exchanges are working. Enrollment is high and costs are coming down amid an 80%-95% satisfaction rate. Even sex isn't that popular.
Three Democratic governors wrote an op-ed piece in Sunday's Washington Post saying that the Affordable Care Act was working in their states because politicians there "grasped the importance of expanding health-care coverage and have avoided the temptation to use health-care reform as a political football." That piece was co-written by Jay Inslee of Washington, Dan Malloy of Connecticut and Steve Beshear of Kentucky.
Other states, like Colorado and California have had strong success implementing their own versions of the Affordable Care Act and expansion of Medicaid. 36 states with Republican governors have put the burden of the insurance exchange on the federal government (with not-surprisingly disastrous results) and have opted not to expand the federal Medicaid program for millions of Americans in need of health care that does not require a trip to the emergency room.
Parting shot: When you hear that Obama has a"socialist" agenda that will drive the economy into the ground, think about this: The stock market, the world's benchmark of the health of capitalism has more than doubled since he took office in 2009.
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