When faux populism meets Eric Cantor’s brain

I was just watching Cantor on TV the other day. Not exactly the brightest bulb in the GOP (though he’d give Sarah Palin a run for her money). Anyway, it seems that Cantor has a big problem with the stimulus package and all of its “wasteful” spending on things that don’t “stimulate.” Case in point: Bike paths and bike racks.

Hmmm…

First off, the folks who specialize in such things say that a dollar spent on bicycle infrastructure actually produces more jobs than a buck spent on highways. Could be the relative wages, could be how much money goes into materials versus manpower. Could be a lot of things. But what we do know is that Eric Cantor is continuing the GOP brand of faux populism that, at its core, is based on worshipping idiots.

For example, remember when the Republicans made fun of Obama for saying that additional offshore drilling would bring in about as much energy as simply inflating all of our car tires to the correct amount? The GOP ripped Obama for that “silly” suggestion – except, of course, we later learned that Obama was right.

But for the Republican fake outrage machine, facts don’t really matter. Back to the case at hand. What, pray tell, does Mr. Cantor think really “stimulates”? (Perhaps he should ask Lindsey Graham, or maybe Aaron “Abs of Steel” Schock.) Projects that stimulate the economy are projects that create jobs. And that can happen in a number of ways. By direct hires, or by buying goods that help companies increase their revenues and thus be able to hang on to more employees during an economic downturn. What the impact of the stimulus does not have any correlation to is how serious or not the project sounds, which seems to be what Cantor is arguing.

At some point, the Republican party needs to wake up and realize that we’re dealing with a serious economic crisis here. We can’t have them proposing crap (like tax cuts) and criticizing ideas that actually stimulate the economy (like bike projects) just to gain political points. They’re not coming up with ideas in order to help us. They’re proposing garbage in order to help themselves politically. And that’s rather scary, should their ideas ever get adopted into law.

Well, actually, we’ve already seen what happens when GOP populist talking points are enacted into law. We have a battered economy and two stalemated wars to show for it.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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