There’s a fellow I know who’s already been advised that he will be getting a pay cut. Forty percent; he’s the worker, and they are about to have their first baby, so there’s no possibility of a second job anytime soon.
They have a mortgage.
Probably a car payment.
And a new arrival any day now.
What effect will that 40% cut have? What kind of stress will this introduce into their lives? They should be happily celebrating, but instead, they have to be worrying.
Not the bankers, of course. They won’t lose, regardless. And defense contractors? They can easily weather the storm until payments get back to normal. But there are going to be a lot of worried people who don’t have that cushion. They won’t be spending as much, even if they have the money.
There will also be new unemployed to add to the already high levels. Companies won’t be hiring; instead, they’ll be laying people off because there’s less money out there to buy things as the cuts begin to kick in. People won’t be buying new cars; they’ll make the old ones go another year or two.
While the politicians wrangle and posture, the economy will slow, and then begin to recede once again. People caught in that will get more desperate. A period of two years or so when the recession began to slow and unemployment dropped is about to reverse.
It’s not as if we don’t have a good idea what will happen. Just look at Europe. Look at Greece and Spain and Portugal. Look at 25% unemployment overall, and 50% unemployment among young adults.
Look at the happy TeaPublicans that have demanded this. Remember that they’ve demanded those cuts while their sponsors, the Koch brothers and others who’ve funneled all that cash through Rove and Norquist have gotten richer all the time. But also realize that even those won’t be happy; they gain riches through an active economy.
Remember the Great Depression. Remember that Republicans were in charge and pushed austerity as the way to get out of the depression. Remember that it took Democrat-led government spending to do that, New Deal spending followed by wartime spending, to finally end the depression and bring on the postwar boom. The Great Depression also had the Dust Bowl to fuel it, but don’t be too happy; we have had a succession of droughts already. Last year those droughts reached into the Midwest. And Phoenix had a succession of dust storms that rivaled those of the Dust Bowl. The west and other areas too had wildfires; austerity means no new planes and fewer firefighters. We don’t need those guys; Mr Romney said so.
But hey, recession is good for us. OK, austerity is good for us; gotta reduce that deficit! Your TeaPublican leaders tell us so.
Comes the next election, I think I might want to tell them a thing or two. At the ballot box.
No Republican. Never again.


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