The Republicans have calculated that if they rig the budget in such a way that economic growth backslides by two percent or so, and 700,000 to two million jobs are lost, people will blame the Democrats and President Obama (not necessarily in that order).
How do they know this? Because Republicans, time and time again, have been able to out-hustle the Democrats on messaging and framing. They’ll hit every compliant cable news show and Sunday show and Politico reporter with “the Obama double-dip.” They’ll frame it as the consequence of the president not allowing their (much larger) budget cuts. The president didn’t do enough to cut spending or to roll back “Obamacare,” they’ll say. They’ll hit these points over and over and over and over in complete lockstep. By the way, there far-right conservative talk shows on thousands of AM radio stations across the country. That’s a lot. And the older Americans who listen to that crap vote.
It’s already bad enough that the Democrats have bought into the budget cutting austerity dementia. And why is that? The Republican messaging and framing apparatus, of course. They convinced enough people that confronting the deficit and the debt is the right thing to do — despite volumes of information to the contrary indicating that austerity with high unemployment and slow growth is a huge mistake (see also Moody’s, Goldman and, you know, Keynes.)
Meanwhile, when the economy dips and unemployment rises, we’re all screwed. Again. And independent voters — the voters who decide elections these days — will blame the party in the White House and they will vote accordingly.
Why? The Republican messaging and framing apparatus.
I honestly can’t think of a more important issue right now. These budget cuts and the impending government shutdown are the stories right now. And we’re being out-hustled again by tea party people and the Republican Party — an unserious PR group that’s wrong on facts but strong on yelling.
We have to get loud now. Do not cut the budget. It’s a trap. It’s a Republican sabotage. Instead, raise taxes on the rich to help pay for the recession they helped to create, eliminate the cap on the payroll tax and kick the military industrial complex squarely in its wasteful nards. End corporate welfare and leave jobs, women, the parks, healthcare, trains, law enforcement and dozens of other valuable programs alone.
The economy will backslide if we don’t — but, more importantly, it will reinforce the misguided economic policy precedent of screwing the poor and middle classes, while leaving the rich alone, whenever the deficit is an issue.