Jim Tankersley: More About the False Consciousness of the Poor Benighted SOBs Who Are the False-Consciousness Victims of the Republican Party in Tea-Party Land: Noted
Jim Tankersley: At the source of the shutdown, the economy falters--and anger at Obama runs high:
ROME, Ga.--Tom Hackett’s life in the meat business was nearly gone.... Hackett stood behind the case and lamented that in a few hours he would be closing the store he has run for five years. The weak local economy... the new chain grocery... the bank that said it couldn’t lend to him anymore. But the biggest culprit, he said, was a man in Washington whose name Hackett could not bring himself to speak.
I’m going to go hide for two years,” he said, until “he”--President Obama--is on his way out:
It’s sad. People are hurting. There’s no reason for it to be happening, other than what he’s doing.
If you want to understand the congressional Republicans... you need to understand the economic struggles of the Republicans’ home districts.... Forty-five House Republicans have most consistently pushed their caucus to brinkmanship.... The [Rome] metro area hasn’t recouped any of the more than 3,000 jobs it lost during the recession.... Workers, executives and small-business owners blame that struggle largely on Obama... Dodd-Frank... difficult to overstate the outrage expressed about the... Affordable Care Act.
“There is a lot of frustration over the way the government’s acting” when it comes to the economy, said Roger F. Smith, the chief executive of River City Bank... one of several people in town who contrasted Obama’s performance in office with the economic success they experienced under President Bill Clinton....
Hackett, 58, called Obama’s entire agenda anti-business: “It’s like, ‘What can we do to kill the economy?’” It was his final day of selling to customers at the specialty meat shop he opened in 2008... catering to grilling enthusiasts.... When the shop opened, Hackett was still primarily a real estate developer.... He lost that business in the housing crash, and his retirement nest egg.... His bank pulled back on lending, citing new federal regulations. Over the summer, he and Tippy dropped their health-care coverage after their insurer raised rates, something the Hacketts blame on the federal health-care law....
Around town, there is plenty of worry.... A pair of lawyers, one from Atlanta and one from Chattanooga, Tenn., walked attendees through an array of PowerPoint slides centered on the legislation’s requirements--and building to what the lawyers called the “pay or play” question.... The lawyers raised several options, mostly about how to avoid the mandates of the law: cutting back all workers to part time, for instance, or hiring mostly independent contractors.... “Maybe you want to offer coverage,” one of them allowed. “That’s okay.” But then he suggested ways to do it that would still shield the business from federal requirements about what type of coverage to offer....
Donald Rizer, 59... complained of the aching shoulder that he said keeps him from working more than 20 hours a week.... Rizer’s employer, Todd Beam, is shutting down.... Rizer did not have a new job lined up. He had come down to Rome after leaving a carpet factory several years ago. He needs shoulder surgery but can’t afford insurance. And because of a quirk in the health-care law, and the fact that Georgia declined to expand Medicaid coverage for low-income people like him, Rizer can’t qualify for a subsidy to buy coverage on his own. When he visited the federal health insurance exchange Web site, he found the cheapest policy available to him cost $200 a month--one quarter of his current salary. “Obama,” he said, “he thinks that he’s helping things, but he ain’t.”