Most people have heard it is better to give than to receive, and nearly everyone experiences that warm feeling when giving to someone in need out of the goodness of their heart, and not an obligation or expectation of reward. Americans are extremely generous people who should be feeling very satisfied because they have given much more than they can afford over the past five years, and doubtless they are going to give a lot more. Even greedy Republicans enjoy giving, and without doubt their generosity comes from the heart and is borne of their obligation to care for their loved ones like every other human being, or maybe it is their constitutional mandate to “provide for the general welfare” of the people they govern. However, Republicans do not govern the people, they provide for the specific welfare of their corporate and religious masters, and they only give what they take from the people, or put on credit for the people to pay later.
On the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, John Boehner reiterated a Republican promise to “scrap Obamacare in its entirety to protect families, workers and seniors from losing their health insurance.” Boehner’s lies notwithstanding, scrapping the ACA takes healthcare coverage from 30-40 million Americans and takes protections from predatory insurance companies away from the people. The idea of taking from the people has been the hallmark of the GOP agenda for the past five years, and it violates the Constitution’s mandate that Congress “provide for the general welfare” of the people according to Thomas Jefferson. Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 of the Constitution says, “Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes…to pay the Debts and provide for the general Welfare of the United States,” and Jefferson and George Washington acknowledged that providing for the general welfare meant providing for “the governed people;” but it does not mean Congress takes from the people.
Republicans have been on a tear to take everything and anything from the people for decades that began with the New Deal’s provisions for Social Security, labor laws, and banking regulations that benefit and protect the people. In fact, since President Obama has been in office, the GOP tapped into religious and racial bigotry to garner support for taking more from the people to give to the rich, and they have spared no department, program, or policy that helps the people; including programs funded solely by the people.
The budget House Republicans passed last week is representative of the GOP’s crusade to take food, shelter, healthcare, Veterans’ benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, Meals on Wheels, and educational opportunities from the American people. John Boehner called the Draconian budget “common sense” cuts, but they will not cover tax cuts for the richest Americans. The budget’s tax reform is taking middle class family’s tax credits and deductions away while giving the rich a 15% cut, and giving corporations the means to continue avoiding income tax. One wonders if there is anything else Republicans can possibly take from the people under the “debt and deficit” mantra infecting Washington, and unfortunately they are taking people’s jobs.
In the run up to the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans pledged creating jobs was their highest priority, but they began 2011 attempting to take away women’s reproductive rights, the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and public sector jobs they claim America cannot afford. Republicans also attempted to take disaster relief, labor rights, research and development, Centers for Disease Control, financial reform, and education funding away from the people as they heaped gifts on the oil, pharmaceutical, and agriculture industry in the form of subsidies they stole from American taxpayers. When John Boehner was given proof the GOP’s habit of taking from the people kills millions of jobs, he said “so be it” and it revealed that taking food from seniors and children is of no more concern to Republicans than taking Americans’ jobs.
Just in the past year, Republicans proposed taking away child labor laws, minimum wage, overtime pay, voting rights, collective bargaining rights, religion-free education, and freedom from religious imposition and one wonders; just what else can they possibly take from the American people? Their government; it is why they openly campaigned on an anti-government platform and dream of drowning it in a bathtub, and why they promote privatizing everything from schools to the Postal Service to Medicare and Social Security. However, at the rate they are progressing, many Americans would never live long enough to qualify for Social Security, and many children will die before they reach school age for lack of adequate nutrition and healthcare.
There is no limit to what Republicans will take from the people, and no end to their gifts to the rich and corporations. Throughout the GOP’s assault on the people, and with every new attempt to take something away, they stood firm behind their commitment to provide for the general welfare of the rich and powerful with valuable assistance from stealthy Democrats. When Americans cried out for jobs, Republicans offered more tax breaks for “job creators” and enacted spending cuts that kill millions of jobs. When tens-of-millions of Americans begged for affordable healthcare coverage, Republicans promised to “scrap the health law,” cut Medicaid and Medicare, and slash healthcare programs for the poorest Americans. And when natural disasters ravaged giant regions of the nation and victims requested assistance, Republicans balked until they could take something else from other Americans.
America, as the richest nation on Earth is rapidly devolving into a country of peasants existing to serve the rich with no government to protect them or their interests. Republicans have led a thirty year crusade to take any and everything of value from the people whether it is food, healthcare, their retirement, or their jobs, and if they have the opportunity, they will take their lives if they can only find a way to give them to the rich.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.