Role Reversal: GOP Blasts Obama Plan To Sell TVA (GOP suddenly love New Deal Socialism)
I wonder if Obama threw that line in as some sort of mental jujitsu against the GOP forcing them to defend socialism or some such. I am sure Obama did not propose this to trick the GOP into defending New Deal socialism but the GOP reaction is very funny to behold.
by The Associated Press
April 16, 2013 3:12 AM
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a political role reversal, Republicans are blasting President Barack Obama’s plan to consider selling the Tennessee Valley Authority, an icon of the New Deal long targeted by conservatives as an example of government overreach.
Obama’s 2014 budget proposal calls for a strategic review of the TVA, the nation’s largest public utility with 9 million customers in seven states from Virginia to Mississippi.
Selling the U.S-owned power company could reduce the federal deficit by at least $25 billion and “help put the nation on a sustainable fiscal path,” Obama says in a budget document.
Not so fast, say GOP lawmakers in the region.
“It’s one more bad idea in a budget full of bad ideas,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., a longtime TVA champion.
“There is no assurance that selling TVA to a profit-making entity would reduce electric bills in the Tennessee Valley, and it could lead to higher electricity rates” for customers in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, Alexander said.
Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., vowed to “carefully study any proposals to restructure TVA” to ensure it continues to deliver affordable electricity throughout the region.
Privatizing TVA has been proposed before “and been determined to be a very bad idea,” added Rep. John Duncan, R-Tenn.
Administration officials emphasized that privatization was just one option being considered. Sale of the agency has been discussed by prior administrations, but nothing has happened.
Indeed, proposals to sell TVA date back to soon after the agency was created in 1933 to reduce the risk of flooding in the region and bring electricity to rural communities in poor areas of Appalachia. It was a key part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program, which used government spending to help the nation recover from the Great Depression.
President Dwight Eisenhower called TVA “creeping socialism,” while President Ronald Reagan criticized it as an example of big government. Republicans from Barry Goldwater to Newt Gingrich have pointed to the TVA as an example of where the private sector could provide services more cheaply and effectively than bureaucrats.
Republican antipathy for the TVA led many in the Southeast to assume that any proposal to sell TVA would come from the GOP — not a Democratic president fresh off winning a second term.
The privatization proposal “is making our heads spin here in Tennessee,” said Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, a nonprofit group that promotes alternative energy throughout the region.
“For the first time that I’m aware of, you’ve got a Democratic administration proposing the sale of TVA and simultaneously you’ve got significant, conservative federal representatives in the House and Senate defending their local socialist project,” Smith said. “There’s a lot irony in it and little bit of humor actually.”
But seriously, if Obama is doing this to get at the GOP base then I think it is a brilliant strategy. The GOP is really a Southern White party at this point and it’s main voters are poor white people or whites of limited economic means.
Because of Federal govt spending taking money from rich Democrat voting states to subsidize the mostly GOP South (and un-populated west) these white regional voters have been able to be fooled into thinking the GOP ideology benefits them (mostly fooled by the GOP using social issues so that they GOP voter can vote against self interests). So I feel the Democratic party has been subsidizing the GOP voter who would feel the misery of the GOP party line if it was allowed to be enacted on them.
I think it is time the GOP base is shown some tough love and made to confront the possibility they are to live in this Ayn Rand paradise they claim they want.
The whole “What’s the Matter with Kansas” thesis (where white poor people in heavily subsidized states vote against their self interest and for a GOP that claims to hate those subsidies) maybe can be solved once and for all by making the GOP voter confront what the removing the Federal Govt subsidies would mean for them.