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Business and Republicans: Appearances Are Not Necessarily Reality

Wednesday, 16 January 2013 05:24

The NYT ran a piece telling readers that business leaders do not have the same influence with Republicans in Congress that they had in the past, noting in particular their differences on using the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip in budget negotiations. It is important to note that the fact that politicians are willing to say that they would be prepared to push the government to a default doesn't mean that they actually would push the government to default.

It is relatively costless for a politician to publicly say that he/she feels so strongly about excessive spending that she would let the government default when the country is at least a month away from any deadline. Such appeals are popular with many voters. However this does not mean that these politicians would vote against raising the debt ceiling when the government actually faced default. The history has been that the Republican leadership has been able to get the necessary support on votes that were deemed important for business, such as the TARP. This article presents no reason to believe that situation has changed.


Comments (2)Add Comment
influence is not needed
written by jennifer, January 16, 2013 7:52
While I agree with everything said Republicans don't need the influence they once had, since so many Democrats hold essentially the same positions in terms of the policies most important to business. Everybody has adopted the language of "job creators" and the importance of the deficit, getting spending "under control" and neither party talking about employment as an issue.
written by FoonTheElder, January 23, 2013 9:27
Big business and the wealthy bought government and have been using it to their advantage. It's no surprise that every bill that passes is full of big corporate welfare.

That is why the so-called assistance to underwater mortgages did nothing to help the homeowners, but everything to put more money in the pockets of the big banks.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.