Virginia Foxx is a Republican member of the House from North Carolina, apparently obsessed with outhouses. As we shall see, she seemingly gets her main theory of governance from the outhouse of her youth. I can't make this stuff up, people. This woman literally learned her governmental economics inside the little "necessary" in the backyard!
But let's be fair for a moment. She's not a mouth-breathing crazy like Rep. Michele Bachman. Bachman will believe, and thus repeat, anything that blows across her path. She'd read a matchbook cover into the Congressional Record if it caught her fancy. For example, how idiotic is her completely untrue claim the other day that Obama has five chefs aboard the presidential plane. Yeah, Michele, and he has five tailors riding with him in the presidential limousine!
No, Virginia Foxx is no Michele Bachman but a far more serious threat to our sanity than Bachman. Sane people can spot the nonsense of Michele in a flash; Virginia Foxx isn't so dramatically nutso. She doesn't make up wild stories, as does Bachman, but instead spouts fallacious GOP theories, i.e. the lies that the GOP now lives by.
And some of these sound plausible until dragged into the sunlight of truth and out of the outhouse from which, in Mrs. Foxx's case, the theories derive. So let's open the door with the half-moon in it and look at the main economic theory the dim Mrs. Foxx embraces, as does the entire GOP, principally that the federal government should be like a "good household" and stay out of debt by "living within its balanced budget".
And what households actually do this? What households never have a mortgage or buy on credit? I'll tell you: until she was fourteen years old, Virginia Foxx lived in a household so poor that it had neither running water nor electricity. Nor a mortgage. Nor any buying on credit. (And remember that this was a white family. For African-Americans in the South then, there were few such options as credit and mortgages.)
I was around in those years and was older than Mrs. Foxx. Let me tell you that still being without running water in 1957 like Mrs. Foxx - that's twenty years AFTER the Depression began to lift and the New Deal came to rural areas - was way, way, way behind the mark. Mrs. Foxx's family had to really work at being poor and deprived enough to still have an outhouse and kerosene lamps in the super-prosperous postwar years of the 1950s.
But they managed this remarkable achievement by following Mrs. Foxx's still persistent rule of outhouse economics: to stay poor and deprived, NEVER borrow money. Don't borrow to get decent housing. Don't borrow to get a reliable car so you can reach a decent job. Don't borrow to get an education so you can make a decent wage. Don't borrow to build a business and create employment for yourself and others. As a government, don't borrow to build the roads and schools your citizens need for their better now and their better future.
Instead, thriftily settle for less. Put off the better tomorrow until it's too late to do you any good. Save for fifteen years for a decent house "someday"for your children instead of buying one now with a thirty-year mortgage. Save for it while living without electricity and running water. So what if the septic from the outhouse may contaminate your well and your children's drinking water. So what if the kerosene lamp may tip over and engulf the house in flames. So what if you keep your kids in too-tight shoes and ruin their feet rather than buy proper shoes on a charge account. You're being "thrifty" and somehow morally superior. You can hold your head as high as do all the others who cling to their outhouse way of life and economics. This economic "theory" is old-timey American rural nonsense, as outdated and groundless as the GOP anti-scientific theories and its social prejudices. And it's certainly no way to run a government.
In reality, businesses, households, and governments all run on credit. Money is like oil, lubricating the engine of exchange of goods and services. If it stops flowing, everything freezes up and we have a Great Depression. People starve. The faster and easier credit can move, the better. We are all pals with PayPal! This is how capitalism works! How can the GOP claim to be capitalistic and not grasp this basic stuff? In a tight time like now, the government should be pumping more oil into the engine, not less.
I don't want to run with the Foxxes. I don't want a government that embraces "outhouse" economics. I remember all that from my own young years after Hoover, and then even FDR, thought balancing the federal budget was a cool move in a bad time. They were wrong, and the Depression dragged on and on. Obama did some pump priming, and Bush's Great Recession is lifting.
So I'm staying snug indoors with my plumbing and electricity. Let Mrs. Foxx and her friends tramp through the dark and snow to the outhouse for the rest of their lives for all I care.
Just get them and their stupid outhouse economics out of the House of Representatives!