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Imagine, for a moment, how difficult it would have been to land a man on the moon if half of the U.S. Congress had believed that the sun revolved around the earth. Or consider how the War in the Pacific might have progressed if half of Congress had still thought the world was flat. Or whether polio would have been eradicated if half of Congress insisted that the best cure was bleeding using leeches. Unfortunately, this was the situation the United States in January 2009, when Barack Obama assumed the presidency. The nation was trying to climb out of the deepest economic hole since the Great Depression, but the Republican Party had about as scientific an approach to the economy as medieval alchemists did to the periodic table.
Sometimes, mistaken ideas can be harmless or even humorous. But in a crisis, they can be downright dangerous. By the time Obama took office, Lehman Brothers had failed, and the Treasury was already trying to prop up banks and other financial institutions to prevent a complete collapse of the economy. In addition, the nation had undergone a tremendous fiscal transformation. Back in 2000, the United States had expected to rack up more than $4 trillion in budgetary surpluses over the coming eight years, but the Bush administration enacted tax cuts that brought the tax burden for upper-income Americans down to the lowest levels since the 1940s. These cuts, combined with two expensive wars and a short recession, sent the nation into deep deficits. The new president faced an enormous task to revive the economy -- one that he could not complete without Congress's help. Together, they would have to protect Americans from a prolonged economic slump while attempting to chart a course toward a more fiscally responsible future.
Not everyone in Congress was in a mood to cooperate. Stung by their electoral defeats and facing Democratic domination of both houses, the Republicans did everything they could to slow the new president's agenda, from filibusters and procedural votes to delayed appointments and partisan bickering. Clearly, the election campaigns of 2010 and 2012 had already begun, and Republicans were determined to stop the new president from keeping his promises. But in the early days of the financial crisis that began in September 2008, the Republicans knew that they had to seem like they were doing something about the economy, too.
So when Obama cast himself as a compromiser ready to temper the legislative proposals of the Democrats in Congress, the Republicans got whatever they could from him -- often while Obama's supporters cried foul -- and made sure to water down his proposals as well. It started with the first stimulus package. In January 2009, Obama announced his proposal for a combination of tax cuts and new spending worth $825 billion over the coming decade, including more than half a trillion dollars in the first two years. By this point, the value of the economy's annual output of goods and services had already shrunk by about five percent, adjusted for changes in prices, since its peak in the fourth quarter of 2007. This was a big hole to fill, easily worth half a trillion dollars a year. The stimulus wouldn't replace all that had been lost, but it might prevent a bad situation from lasting longer and getting worse.
There is much more at the link, and I encourage you to read it.
If you are anything like me, by the end you will be spitting nails and ready to punch the next Republican politician you see right in the face.
The thing that pisses me off (Almost as much as how traitorous these assholes are, and how ready they were to destroy the economy in order to retain political power.), is that they keep using the fact that Obama did not keep his promise to fix the economy against him in both Republican surrogate talking points and Romney political ads..
They have done EVERYTHING in their power to stop him while complaining to the American people that he has not repaired the economic damage, that THEIR last president caused, fast enough!
They also accuse him of being "the most partisan President in years" when in fact Obama did everything but offer to shine their shoes and drive their kids to school in order to strike a compromise in the early negotiations. They played him for a fool because he expected them to actually care about the country. I know, what an idiot!
If President Obama has a major fault it is that he trusted too much.
Not any more. Now he knows better.
The only question is, do the America people know better?