BLOWBACK: Unforeseen consequences and events that blow up in one's face, like a faulty weapon.
I'm intrigued when a term that means one thing, is re-tooled to mean another with perfect pitch. Blowback is such a term. Originally meant to describe, "a process in which gases expand or travel in a direction opposite the usual one, esp. through escape of pressure or delayed combustion." Later, it was described by intelligence services as the unintended, adverse result of political or covert action (see Soviet-Afghan War and read Charlie Wilson's War). Why paraphrase it here? Because it came to me watching last night's second Presidential Debate--specifically when taxes were brought up.
In this case, pertaining to corporate taxes, many fail to see what is obvious to those who monitor the national debt. When Bush lowered taxes for corporations and the richest (his first major economic initiative in 2001) in the U.S., it started the biggest contribution to raising our debt--after two terms, he just about doubled the debt, now 10 trillion as of September 30. 2008. All of this to put us on track with the trickle down theory, again. Inequity widened under this policy (those that didn't need the help got richer, the middle class took on more burden, and those that really needed it, got none). Because of this, our gross national debt compared to GNP (how rich we are) has reached its lowest level.
Back to the debate, the problems I have with the Republican candidate are these:
- he wants to continue the tax cuts of Bush (thus making us poorer)
- wants to continue a war that was started on false premises (continuing our military outlay in blood and treasure)
- believed in de-regulation of Wall Street (see McCain's economic advisor, Phil Gramm)
- wants to fix the economy, but is blind to the impact of the first three items here
I'm sure those in the current lame-duck administration didn't want to mortgage the future of American citizens for years to come and wreck the global economy (along with the same Wall Street they hoped to benefit). But, that was the consequence of their fiscal policies. Blowback. I do not know about them, but when most people get stuck in a hole, the smart ones stop digging! McCain does not seem to want to stop digging. Of course, their wonderful counter-argument is to say, "if you raise taxes on the wealthy, they'll cut jobs." Really? Then why was it, during the Clinton years (which had a higher tax rate on corporations and the richest compared to now), we had balanced budgets, high productivity with low unemployment, an expanding middle class, lowering debt, and a budget surplus?