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Is GOP trying to sabotage economy to hurt Obama?



Published: Sun, May 20, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

By CHARLES BABINGTON

Associated Press

WASHINGTON

Are Republican lawmakers deliberately stalling the economic recovery to hurt President Barack Obama’s re-election chances? Some top Democrats say yes, pointing to GOP stances on the debt limit and other issues that they claim are causing unnecessary economic anxiety and retarding growth.

The latest Democratic complaint came after House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday that when Congress raises the nation’s borrowing cap in early 2013, he will again insist on big spending cuts to offset the increase. Boehner, R-Ohio, continues to reject higher tax rates, which Democrats demand from the wealthy.

That led Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to say Boehner is virtually assuring another debt-ceiling crisis as bad or worse than the one that shook financial markets nine months ago.

“The last thing the country needs is a rerun of last summer’s debacle that nearly brought down our economy,” Schumer said in a statement. In an interview, Schumer added: “I hope that the speaker is not doing this because he doesn’t want to see the economy improve, because what he said will certainly rattle the markets.”

Boehner responded in a statement: “Republicans have passed nearly 30 bills that would help small businesses create jobs and we are waiting on Senate Democrats to vote on these common-sense measures. The failure to act on these jobs bills, as well as our crushing debt burden, is undermining economic growth and job creation.”

Democrats say Republicans loaded their jobs bills with provisions certain to doom them in the Senate, such as restrictions on unions and on regulatory agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency.

Regardless of whether Schumer’s suspicions are right, there’s evidence that unceasing partisan gridlock and the prospect of big tax increases and spending cuts in January are causing some companies to postpone expansions. Even small economic slowdowns are bad news for Obama, who is seeking re-election amid high unemployment.

The Washington Post this past week compiled a list of military contractors, hospitals and universities that are delaying hires and bracing for cuts, partly because of fears that Washington’s partisan divisions will not abate.

The most obvious showdown will happen soon after the Nov. 6 election. Unless a lame-duck Congress can make deals, the economy will suffer a double whammy of large tax increases and spending cuts, starting Jan. 1. The tax increases would hit virtually every working American and the spending cuts would affect military and domestic programs.

Economists say that what Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke calls a “fiscal cliff” could possibly lead to another severe recession.

On top of that, perhaps by late January or so, Congress and the president — be it Obama or Republican Mitt Romney — will again confront the need to raise the country’s borrowing limit or else trigger a first-ever government failure to pay its debts.


Comments

1VINDYAK(1799 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Its far easier to point the blame on Republicans and deflect lack of action and broken promises by the President.

When he made all those promises to get himself elected back in 2008, he also promised to work with Congress.

We have seen just the opposite from him and rather than working with Congress he has declared them the enemy.

So much for leadership we can believe in.

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2AtownAugie(697 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

An alternative headline for the column: "Are Dems using public monies to buy the election for Obama by stalling?" (Oh, wait -- it's from the AP: "Always Partisan." Never mind.)

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3bsdtwd(40 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Of course the GOP would sabotage, derail, decry, disassociate, deny ANYTHING to hurt Obama. At Any Cost, including the standard of living for MOST Americans. Their self professed goal, announced minutes after his inauguration, is to ensure president Obama is a 1 termer. Great way to solve serious problems. It's time to call them out as what the entire GOP has become: Anti American. They use their racist dog whistles to get the crazies going. And lately it's not just the fringe right wing responding to their pernicious whistles. Anyone who votes for Romney or supports what they have planned, needs some counseling to snap them out of this vortex of hate, division, the rich know best mentality. It's YOUR way of life that will be impacted the most if the GOP gets it's way. TAXES on millionaires (annual income $1mm) HAS to increase. Bush started (2) wars, provided seniors with free prescriptions and CUT taxes for the rich. Since when has this Country fought a war and lowered taxes on the wealthy and asked NOTHING of them. No sacrifice. It's someone else's kid fighting and dying over there. Absurd and shameful. The GOP has become unrecognizable. Lockstep thought. Compromise is a sin. Kill the middle class and protect the Corp's and the Wealthy. Vote Democrat. Save your way of life and the belief in things like science and rational debate.

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4SkyKing310B(253 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

@bsdtwd- Why do the millionaires have to pay higher taxes? It's their money, not yours. They earned it, not you. I am no where close to being in that income bracket, but it makes me want to vomit when I hear you democrats crying that you don't have enough money to spend on your social programs. It's because of these social programs that this country is in the shape that it is in. We have too many people voting for a living and not enough working for a living. It is not a "rich know best mentality" - it is the majority of the working people of this country being tired of having the fruits of their labor confiscated by politicians and given to those who make no contribution.

Social Security and Medicare need to be preserved. The rest of Johnson's great society programs and the others that followed need to be scrapped. We do not need any more single mothers with 5 children from 5 different partners getting free housing, food, utilities, medical care, etc, while the rest of us pay for it while trying to provide for our own families!

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5fd6636(255 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Yep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its the republican way. If thr republibtards cant get what they want........................lie.

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6greene(167 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Cue the Twilight Zone music before reading this article and bsdtwd's comments.

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7spenc083(7 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

I've been working for 40 years and I pay more taxes than my boss who inherited the company from his daddy 10 years ago. What a great COUNTRY to live in Jimbob.

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