You may or may not agree with the conservative philosophy that inspired Republican Congressmen to vote against President Obama’s economic stimulus package, but their refusal to admit the country foundered because of eight years of conservatism is nonsense.
The relevance of government intervention in national life, especially in economic and social development, might seem to be a discussion more appropriate to the Reagan-Thatcher era, but not when the entire world is suffering the consequence of that narrow conception of development. This is so clearly true that the Bush administration had to nationalize some financial corporations, not only to save them from bankruptcy, but to rescue the entire global economy from the same fate.
Failure to approve the stimulus package will spell suicide for the country, as a whole. Betting that Obama’s plan will fail, thus, resulting in Republican resumption of Congressional majority, is a strategy with the potential of a deeper economic depression. Such a Pyrrhic victory would have a very high price: the ruination of the country.
Rather than demonstrating validity of ideological tenets, it would reveal profound resistance to understanding that the world has changed, and that extreme individualism and government exclusion from social and economic life is not the best recipe for development. The economic package passed, with only three Republican votes in Congress, evidence of the party’s myopia.
The second part of the drama will be the approval of a budget reflecting a radical change in the collection and allocation of fiscal resources. Its design is in line with the agenda set by Obama during his campaign. Substantial increase in taxes for higher wage earners, increase in health coverage for the most needy, expanded educational programs, and support for environmental protection programs are some purposes of the budget.
Strong Republican Party opposition is expected, thus, Obama should seek collaboration from the more sensible members of that party. The path chosen by Obama, to eliminate inequality and make this planet more livable, will set a precedent and be an example for more than one country.