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Obama is fixing GOP's economic mess

By Hilary Rosen, CNN Contributor
  • Hilary Rosen: GOP critics ignore that it took eight years to ruin economy
  • White House, Dems have been focusing on jobs by fixing economy first, Rosen writes
  • Rosen: Dems gave small business and middle class tax breaks, curbed banking fraud
  • She says corporations sit on billions to see if GOP win can help them line pockets

Editor's note: Hilary Rosen, a CNN contributor, is a Democratic political strategist and former chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America.

(CNN) -- Consider a few facts that the Republicans keep missing. As they say, you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

Ed Rollins can pooh-pooh the fact that Democrats have been in control for two years -- but it took eight years to get us into this mess. And we have been crawling out of the hole ever since.

The fact is that this White House and the Democrats in Congress have been focusing on jobs. To focus on jobs, you have to fix the economy first, which the Democrats did. And as important, Democrats have tried to focus on those who have been hurt from eight years of neglect. What does that mean?

It means 16 different tax breaks and supports for small business owners, who were neglected by the Republicans for eight years.

It means making student loans more affordable by cutting middleman subsidies, which had been growing for eight years.

It took eight years to get us into this mess. And we have been crawling out of the hole ever since.
--Hilary Rosen

It means passing a patient's bill of rights to control insurance costs, which have been growing for eight years.

It means investing in solar and electric cars and alternative energy, which has been neglected for eight years.

Then, it means curtailing deceptive banking practices, which have been getting worse and screwing consumers for eight years.

And it means providing tax breaks for middle-class Americans, who have been squeezed for eight years.

In 2010, corporate profits will be as high as they have been since 1997. We will see whether the cash that industry is sitting on will be used to invest and grow and create jobs here at home or whether it will pay bonuses to senior executives while shipping jobs overseas.

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If Republicans are in charge, they will choose the latter, because they will suffer no consequences for their actions. If Democrats are in charge, they will likely choose the former. We know that because that is what they said they would do at the start of the Obama administration.

This administration didn't demonize business. There are countless examples of the White House partnering with business to promote investments that will grow this country's workforce and restore economic health. They came to the table. But once Republicans started offering businesses the actual store if they helped them get back in power, business pulled back from that table.

The timing was not a coincidence. In fact, Rep. John Boehner said it best on the day the Financial Regulatory Reform billl was on the Senate floor. "The Republicans are the only ones standing between you and reform." But they had to get in power.

Now, Wall Street and the big banks are sitting on hundreds of billions of dollars in cash, waiting to see if the Republicans will help them line their pockets instead of lending that money into the system to invest in the economy and grow jobs.

The opinions in this commentary are solely those of Hilary Rosen.