By Jim Hightower
As narrators used to say in Western movies: “Meanwhile, back at the ranch…” Our policymakers in Washington have totally lost sight of what’s happening at the ranch. John Boehner’s GOP-controlled House and Barack Obama’s White House have agreed to slash trillions of dollars from the federal budget, as though that’s America’s most important need.
Bovine excrement! If they’d lift their vision to the countryside, even they could figure out that our great economic urgency is for the creation of good, middle-class jobs to get America moving again — moving upward and moving together.
Today, we are a dangerously disunited society. Elite CEOs and big investors are grabbing all the gains, leaving the vast majority mired in recession and facing falling incomes. Since the recession technically “ended” 18 months ago, corporate profits have zoomed, sopping up an unprecedented 88 percent of America’s economic growth. Meanwhile, only one percent of the growth that we all help produce has gone to wages and salaries, the primary sources of income for 90 percent of us.
Yet, those same CEOs say they won’t invest in new jobs or raise wages until consumers start buying again. That’s like saying, “The beatings will continue until morale improves.” Hello? The consumers whom CEOs are waiting on are the workers whose jobs and wages the CEOs won’t increase.
You see, despite the GOP’s ideological claptrap about corporate executives being “job creators,” it’s ordinary Americans who actually create jobs by spending from their paychecks. This is why our obtuse policymakers need to quit pampering the rich and fussing over budgets.
Instead, they should launch a national, FDR-style jobs program that will immediately increase paychecks, perk up consumer spending, and generate grassroots economic growth.