The Republican plan to turn back time

The GOP wants a do-over: Erase the last two years and return to the good old days of George W. Bush

Published September 20, 2010 2:57PM (EDT)

George W. Bush
George W. Bush

A new vision for America! If the Republicans gain a majority in the House of Representatives, reports the Wall Street Journal, they plan to cripple Obama's legislative achievements -- such as they are -- by denying funding for their implementation.

Republican leaders are also devising legislative maneuvers that might have a bigger impact, using appropriations bills and other tactics to try to undermine the administration's overhaul of health care and financial regulations and its plans to regulate greenhouse gases. GOP leaders also hope to trim spending, return unspent stimulus funds and restore sweeping tax cuts.

Business groups have compiled lists of impeding regulations they hope to see stopped under a GOP House majority.

I was struggling to find words to express my Monday morning dismay at this breathtakingly ambitious agenda for making America great again by repeating exactly the same mistakes that screwed the country up, but Mark Thoma, a professor of economics at the University of Oregon, beat me to it (posting shortly after midnight!).

There don't seem to be any new ideas here, just a promise to undo what's been done since the Republicans lost power. Why would we want to return to the policies that brought us a stagnant middle class even in the best of times, widening inequality, out of control financial markets, the biggest recession in recent memory, declining rates of health care coverage, threats to Social Security and to social insurance more generally, tax policies that reinforce trends in inequality and create big holes in the budget (amid false claims that tax cuts more than pay for themselves), and two wars whose total costs to the nation go far beyond the large budgetary costs that have brought programs such as Social Security and Medicare -- programs vital to middle and low income households -- under increasing financial pressure?

Why, indeed?

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

MORE FROM Andrew Leonard

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2010 Elections George W. Bush How The World Works Republican Party