By David Glenn Cox
Way back in time it seems like years ago now when the pandemic first struck, and the economy shut down. Congress and the Administration worked together in fear and patriotic fervor to provide American families with relief for a crisis caused through no fault of their own. Twelve-hundred-dollar stimulus checks and enhanced unemployment benefits were quickly agreed too. Do you have any idea what all that cost? It cost a lot less than letting the economy burn to the ground.
After FDR had declared a bank holiday and closed the nation’s banks, there was a meeting at the White House. FDR told the bankers, “I’m gonna need twenty maybe twenty-five billion dollars. Anyone have a problem with that?” The bankers knew this was the only game in town. They didn’t like FDR and they didn’t like his policies, but the world was on fire and their businesses were on the line as well. This was the only way forward possible as economic activity drifted aimlessly downward.
The hot water heater quits or the roof leaks, “Well, I guess we won’t have hot water no more.” You fix it and move on. Not fixing the roof only increases the problem. Initially, Wall Street and most everyone else thought the sky was falling. Then the markets began to stabilize, and Republicans began to think, “Maybe we can let them all die after all.” Let’s try and remember this isn’t your father’s Republican Party. This is Marie Antionette’s daycare center for the criminally insane. World War II war debts were amortized over thirty years like a mortgage. There really shouldn’t even be an issue because the Americans who are going to pay it back haven’t even started school yet.
When I was a kid, a Coke was a quarter today they’re way over a buck. I should have bought them back then. Harry Truman helped design the government center in Independence. He insisted on a larger design knowing that the need for floor space would grow. It was cheaper to build a bigger building today than to build another in twenty years. Interest rates are at zero so borrowing money has never been cheaper and the cost of borrowing is less expensive than letting the economy burn to the ground. This event is as economically important as WW II. We are painting the world of the future today.
I can only imagine Mitch McConnell after Pearl Harbor. “We’ll do nothing and watch Roosevelt squirm! That helps us in the polls!” Mitch the miser Ebenezer McConnell tipped his hand. “Kelly and David are getting hammered!” Kelly and David are in a runoff election in Georgia for potentially control of the Senate and Ebenezer McConnell’s job. Now that Mitch is in trouble, he’s ready to write checks but only to save the Republican majority. Charles Dickens could never write anything nearly as cynical. Scrooge looks like tap dancing Mister Rogers when compared with Ebenezer McConnell.
The World Bank, The Federal Reserve, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Wall Street Journal and Forbes have all spoken with one voice. To do too little is far more dangerous than doing too much. I went to the grocery store the other day and out front was a Christmas staple, live Christmas trees. Only these trees were just three feet tall. A sign of the times or a sign of McConnell? Tens of millions of Americans will have no presents under the tree and won’t have a tree. Christmas always brings a rise in shoplifting and the most shoplifted item in America is baby food. Merry Christmas baby have some sweet potatoes.
For three months the Bureau of Labor Statistics has shown an economy stair stepping down. In November, 400,000 Americans left the economy. Retired or just quit, giving up on employment because the future is obvious. “Let’s do just enough to help Kelly and David and f*ck everyone else!” Come January we face a rent crisis and a mortgage crisis. “But that’s Joe Biden problem tee he, tee he.” Five-mile car lines at food banks don’t register on Ebenezer’s radar but whisper, “Beware!” This economic event will out last the Biden Administration and might out last the Administration after that.
Not since 1929 have Americans faced such an economic crisis and not since 1929 has a Republican Administration done less. Ebenezer McConnell’s oath demands he defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Unemployment is a threat to the Constitution; hungry children are a threat to the Constitution. Homelessness and fear are a threat to the Constitution. And a threat to the banks as well as my neighbors pack their U-Haul trucks headed for more prosperous climbs. Paging John Steinbeck.
The Great Depression of the thirties was a twentieth Century problem to a nineteenth Century government, Hoover was flummoxed and didn’t know what to do. Today, we know what to do. To not do it represents cruelty and petty political posturing. The Democrats have negotiated down with Ebenezer McConnell from $2.2 Trillion down to this $900 billion afterbirth package and every time they get close to agreement the Republicans move the goal posts. The latest sticking point is trading a stimulus check for unemployment benefits. “If Bob Cratchit gets a Christmas goose, we insist he get no pudding!” It is absurd beyond Orwellian. Negotiating survival while Americans lose their homes and children go hungry at Christmas that isn’t politics, it’s the very soul of treason.
“For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.”
― Benjamin Franklin