So let me get this straight, Republicans...You exploded the deficit, taking a surplus that could have eliminated the National Debt in a few decades and turned it into a sea of red ink. Then you somehow get away with blaming the President you handed this mess off to for it? You allow the economy to implode though your magical thinking that gambling addicts could regulate themselves only to clamor for even LESS regulations? And you have the gall to get mad at Obama for not cleaning up your mess quickly enough, especially when you try to stop his agenda at every turn? Look, we need to talk...
Seriously, how in the world can you think that seniors and the poor should have to eat cat food in order to finance ever larger tax cuts for the rich? We can show you the widening income inequality in the U.S. over time, or how most wages have stagnated or fallen over the last 30 years, or how workers haven't captured hardly any of their productivity increases over those same 30 years while the share of income going to the top earners continues to rise...Heck, the polls taken THIS WEEK show that the American Public wants taxes on the rich to rise by a 60 - 40 margin or more. Increasing the top Income Tax brackets is the right policy and a political winner...but you still manage to repeat those long-debunked talking points with a straight face. I don't know how you manage to pull it off.
It must be tough when reality seems to have this pesky habit of completely invalidating many of your core assumptions. You see, carbon dioxide traps heat and Evolution is a thing. We've tried "Supply Side" Economics TWICE already and it failed both times...miserably. And what's with all this talk about freedom when you constantly demand authority over who people can marry or what they do to their own bodies? The only way you can possibly manage to sleep at night is by ignoring the really-real reality the rest of us live in and pretending your fantasies make sense.
Now I know that Faux "News" and the rest of your media bullhorn makes it all too easy to drag the public discourse into your make-believe land. And I know that the systematic gutting of Public Education in this country has made it that much easier to fool an ever larger share of the population with this BS. And I also know that the decimation of our manufacturing base has left millions of folks scared about their own future and their families', making it easier for you to scapegoat immigrants, government workers, regulations or even the debt YOU CREATED for their problems. It might be a bit much to say you're doing this all on purpose, but there's no doubt that you're trying to exploit these trends as much as you can.
Look, you can't keep living in a dreamworld like this. Our democratic system requires a marketplace of ideas, and people are slowly but surely waking up to the fact that you have parked a bunch of lemons on your used car lot. You alienate the growing pools of young and minority voters while desperately pandering to the shrinking number of elderly, white men in this country. The only way you stay relevant on the national scene is by gerrymandering congressional districts like crazy and abusing the rules of the Senate to an historic degree. While your party might not be going the way of the Whigs for a while, I have no idea how you can turn things around without basically becoming Democrats.
I would like to say that we should stage an intervention, but this past election was basically the closest thing you're going to get and it seems like you're learning all the wrong lessons from it. There are ways to get help, though. Prodding the legislative process along with a silly "Fiscal Cliff" was about the dumbest thing imaginable, but if you need that kind of encouragement to actually work in the best interests of the country, then I guess we shouldn't let a good crisis go to waste.
Winding down our military involvements overseas is a good source of savings for example, both in the Middle East and the dozens of other countries where we have a presence. We also need to examine whether the weapon systems we're buying make sense in our ever-changing and multi-polar world so that we don't lock ourselves into needless spending. I know the major defense contractors and the legislators they support (in both parties) will have some heartburn over this, but you must remember why we spend all that money on defense in the first place: to keep our country safe. If a defense dollar isn't going towards that singular goal, whether it be an unnecessary weapons system, corporate welfare, or actions that DECREASE stability instead of INCREASING it, then you need to apply the same bellyaching you do towards non-defense spending and work towards cutting it from the budget.
How about we also put our money where our mouth is as far as "unleashing" the Free Market is concerned and allow Medicare to bargain for drug prices? Wouldn't that be a hoot?
How about we end subsidies to profitable industries like fossil fuels and agribusiness and start subsidizing things that make us healthier and more competitive like clean energy and the fruit / vegetable supply chain? If we're going to "pick winners and losers", shouldn't the "winners" at least provide benefits to the rest of us instead of polluting our environment and expanding our waistlines? (You do realize this would decrease healthcare spending sooner or later as well, right?)
And how about we keep increasing manufacturing employment numbers too? For starters, when we have clear evidence that some of our trading partners aren't playing fair, let's come together and use the processes in place (WTO, etc.) to get them to stop. What's wrong with protecting American jobs again? And it baffles me why you think importing oil is better than building fuel efficient and completely electric vehicles in this country. Reducing the trade deficit and getting the most productive workforce in the world back on the job are the surest ways to grow the economy and increase federal revenue. We'll need to put back a lot of the money taken out of our schools over the last few decades to make it happen. Having better infrastructure and a cleaner, safer environment will foster the investment necessary to get everything in motion.
So in closing, you Republicans need to focus on the REAL issues affecting the American People and join the "reality-based community" in order to address them. Look, we're not going back to the 1950's (or even the Dark Ages for some of you...), so lay off the social issues that have NOTHING to do with fixing the economy. This is America...go and do (mostly) whatever you want, just don't try to force everyone else to do (or not do) the same things. There's this thing called Science (and Economics if you want to get picky) and there are these people called "experts" that know all kinds of stuff about it. We should listen to them and make level-headed policy from their recommendations. If it doesn't work out (you know, like that whole "Supply Side" thing I brought up earlier...), then we try something else. If something DOES WORK (like the high union membership and high top income tax rates during the greatest period of U.S. economic growth from the 1930's - 1970's or the still impressive economic prosperity in the 1990's), let's not mess with success, shall we? Remember, there are also these things called "history books", and if you are a part of the problem (or even just not part of the solution), they tend to either ignore you or actively highlight how silly and mistaken you actually were. While the media has been giving you a pass as of late, historians are far less forgiving.