When will they ever learn? They being the Republicans, of course and, in particular, Congressman Bill Shuster.
In his recent Mirror column, Shuster again trotted out the same old tired Republican cure-all: tax cuts. Faced with an economic disaster due in part to his party's total mismanagement of the economy, he continues to state, ''lower taxes lead to job growth.''
Perhaps Shuster should familiarize himself with these statistics: Job growth in the eight years of the Bush administration at 2 percent was the worst in 70 years.
Gross domestic product growth was the worst since the Truman years. So much for the benefits of tax cuts to the wealthy. So much for trickle down economics.
Also, if Shuster would consult the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, he would find its conservative estimate that the multiplier for stimulative spending ranges from 1 to 2.5, meaning for every $1 spent, between $1 and $2.50 in additional GDP is generated. In contrast the multiplier for tax cuts for the wealthy is 0.5 or less.
As President Obama (and FDR) stated, ''Of course, we spent money.''
When there is no consumer spending, no lending, no credit, we Democrats believe the government is the last resort to prevent economic collapse.
In fact, many, if not most economists, believe the stimulus is too small, amounting to about $400 billion per year over the next two years in a $14 trillion economy.
In opposing the stimulus, Shuster is rejecting tax cuts for 95 percent of American workers, extending unemployment, health benefits and food stamps for the jobless, creating/saving 3 million jobs that will put Americans to work.
What is it about this headline (''Stimulus bill will deliver for PA") in the Feb. 13 Mirror that Shuster doesn't understand? The article reports Pennsylvania stands to receive $16 billion from the legislation.
Yes, there is legitimate concern about the debt that is being incurred, but when Republicans howl about ''generational theft,'' as Sen. John McCain did recently, one wonders where that outrage was as the country's debt doubled in the past eight years to nearly $11 billion with nothing to show for it but the ruin of the economy, two intractable wars and an income inequality gap that rivals the days of the robber barons at the turn of the last century.
Democrats recall debt in a different context, involving Democratic programs that put the Greatest Generation back to work, financed the GI Bill of Rights, which sent millions to college, the Federal Housing Act, which provided low interest loans for first homes, underwrote a new generation of science and technology and created a wave of demand for consumer goods.
When Americans went to the polls in November, they voted resoundingly for change. President Barack Obama and a Democratic majority in Congress along with three Senate Republicans rose to that challenge.
Other Republicans refused to budge from their ideological blinders, stuck in a world that is passing them by. A recent Gallup Poll gave republicans only 31 percent approval for its handling of the stimulus.
Obama put it best, ''We can act boldly to turn crisis into opportunity and, together, write the next great chapter in our history and meet the test of our time.''
Editor's note: Rosenhoover is the chairman of the Blair County Democratic Party. Part of this viewpoint appeared as a letter to the editor Wednesday.