Thursday, January 05, 2006


The alleged trickle-down victory

I'm sorry to have been gone so long. You know how the holidays can be. Oops. Sorry. I mean, you know how Christmas can be. I'm not trying to turn my back on Jesus, so please don't have the American Family Association boycott my blog.

Today I offer conservatives a heartfelt congratulations for it seems they have once and for all fixed the economy. I guess the Right can declare ultimate victory, I must shut down this blog in a red-faced concession, and we liberals should all go hide forevermore under our respective rocks.

Or so that's what I'm gathering in the leftist, pinko Post-Dispatch today (Dang, I wish these liberal rags would actually start doing a little more spinning to help out us beleaguered lefties). On the Metro section front, we read that Republicans in the reconvening Missouri General Assembly have "fixed" the state's economy in the course of one legislative session. House Speaker Rod Jetton and Senate President Pro Tem Micahel Gibbons have attributed these high times in which we live to the "pro-business" agenda that won the day in last year's session.

Jetton and Gibbons "said the spate of pro-business bills passed last year are producing thousands of new jobs by reducing employers' costs for workers' compensation and civil lawsuits," the unquestioning Post-Dispatch story says without quoting any real statistics or even any rebuttal to these claims from Democrats. Rush Limbaugh would be appalled. Where's the Post-Dispatch's sense of cheap shots and dirty play?

By pro-business, I assume Gibbons and Jetton boast of the Medicaid cuts in which 90,000 Missourians lost benefits last year. They must also be talking about about legislation that makes it almost impossible for a buyer to sue a shady homebuilder. And I'm sure they're quite proud of Boy Governor Matt Blunt's appointments to many of the state's regulatory boards in which many insiders now regulte the very industries from which they make a living. Because as conservatives have made it clear, we can't hammer out compromises and agreements in which business folks and regular folks both come out winners. The business community apparently can win only if we screw regular folks. Or so Gibbons and Jetton apparently think.

Meanwhile, inside the Metro section, sydicated columnist Michael Barone sings the praises of Wal-Mart and the wonders they do for the American economy. He chooses to ignore the research that says that in local economies, employment declines when a Wal-Mart opens. He doesn't wish to talk about Wal-Mart's responsibility for our growing trade defecit. He does admit that Wal-Mart's benefits suck. But what the hell, Barone says, most Wal-Mart employees didn't really want health care, anyway.

"Not all workers today want full-time jobs; they may want to be home when the kids return home from school. Not all want health insurance; many are covered by a spouse's policy or Medicare," Barone writes, explaining why it's really OK that 600,000 children of Wal-Mart employees have either no health insurance or are enrolled in Medicaid or other taxpayer-supported children's insurance programs. Of course, thanks to Gibbons and Jetton, they shouldn't count on that Medicaid if they live in Missouri.

Indeed, conservatives have really fixed things in America.

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