Michael Cohen of The Guardian wonders, did Republicans deliberately crash the US economy? He reminds us that "perhaps the most obvious piece of evidence of GOP premeditated malice is the 2010 quote from Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell:"
"The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."
"Beyond McConnell's words," he notes, "there is circumstantial evidence to make the case:"
Republicans have opposed a lion's share of stimulus measures that once they supported, such as a payroll tax break, which they grudgingly embraced earlier this year. Even unemployment insurance, a relatively uncontroversial tool for helping those in an economic downturn, has been consistently held up by Republicans or used as a bargaining chip for more tax cuts. Ten years ago, prominent conservatives were loudly making the case for fiscal stimulus to get the economy going; today, they treat such ideas like they're the plague.
Traditionally, during economic recessions, Republicans have been supportive of loose monetary policy. Not this time. [...] ...since the original stimulus bill passed in February of 2009, Republicans have made practically no effort to draft comprehensive job creation legislation. Instead, they continue to pursue austerity policies, which reams of historical data suggest harms economic recovery and does little to create jobs.
Part of the reason is, no doubt, the political calculus that lets a Democratic president take the blame, as "it is Obama who is bearing most of the blame for the country's continued poor economic performance:"
Whether you believe the Republicans are engaging in purposely destructive fiscal behavior or are simply fiscally incompetent, it almost doesn't matter. [...] ...one of two major political parties in America is engaging in scorched-earth economic policies that are undercutting the economic recovery, possibly on purpose, and is forcing job-killing austerity measures on the states. And they have paid absolutely no political price for doing so. If anything, it won them control of the House in 2010, and has kept win Obama's approval ratings in the political danger zone. It might even help them get control of the White House.
Is it all about gaining power?