One of the factors that leads to a successful civilization is the concept that regardless the issue, differences between competing ideologies have to be settled by some form of arbitration, or by consensus, reached through a set of mutual concessions. As America lurches toward becoming a nation of peasants existing to serve a small group of extremely wealthy industrialists, the people are given little choice but watching Republicans dig in their heels and continue on a course of inaction, obstruction, and intransigence by refusing to compromise with Democrats on any issue regardless the health of the nation or well-being of its people. The ideological differences of the two parties cannot possibly be any starker and easily defined according to the language each party uses to describe their agendas and plans for governing, and where the Democrats are intent on creating, Republicans are duty-bound by ideology to destroy.
Yesterday House Democrats unveiled a “Make it in America” agenda that is designed to spur domestic job creation with a series of common sense and proven reforms to address the nation’s persistent unemployment crisis by promoting exports, strengthening trade enforcement, hiking infrastructure spending, and rewarding companies that stop shipping Americans’ jobs overseas. The Democrats’ goal is to rebuild and restore the rapidly vanishing middle class, and it is dependent on four areas of focus including a manufacturing strategy, promoting exports, training and educating workers for a modern economy, and enticing companies to relocate and bring back jobs to America. It is not a new agenda, but there is concrete evidence that it is key to jumpstarting the economy and putting the country on a path to fiscal health with a vibrant middle class.
Republicans, led by John Boehner, take an opposing view based on destruction evident in the language they use according to their ideological bent based on cutting spending, eliminating regulations, slashing taxes for the wealthy, and removing government they claim is an impediment to their corporate donors. When Republicans parrot the Ronald Reagan mantra of “getting government out of the way,” they literally mean getting rid of the government they claim inhibits economic growth by stifling the private sector’s ability to create jobs. However, for the past four years private enterprise has thrived as a result of President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus), and complained their biggest impediment to creating jobs is not taxes, regulations, or government spending, but a weakened consumer base too poor to afford their products as a result of Republicans’ wont of killing public sector jobs, cutting spending, and rewarding corporations that move their operations, and Americans’ jobs, overseas.
Republicans have been on a destructive path for over thirty years, and crucial to their attack on the people is “getting government out of the way” to allow their corporate donors to run roughshod over the population. Their persistent calls to cut spending have not, and will not, create one job, and their cuts are for the sole purpose of giving more tax breaks to the rich. Their assault on regulations during the Bush administration allowed Wall Street and financial institutions to cause the greatest economic recession since the Great Depression, and they have their sights set on regulations today that are guaranteed to kill jobs, the environment, and put the financial sector in the drivers’ seat to create a repeat of the 2007-2008 crash. One of the Democratic proposals to create jobs is investing in green and renewable energy that Congressional Republicans will block as the Koch brothers and ALEC rescind renewable energy standards in every Republican controlled state.
If Americans wonder what Republicans would do if they had their way in Washington, they can look at any Republican-controlled state and see drastic cuts to social programs like education, safety nets, and public sector jobs to give tax breaks to corporations. A typical Republican governor is Pennsylvania’s Tom Corbett who seeks significant cuts in teacher and state workers’ pensions, cuts over $1.5 billion from education, opts out of Medicaid expansion, and gives corporations at least $2.5 billion in tax cuts. Corbett’s Draconian budget will kill about 5,000 more jobs on top of the 20,000 teacher jobs already lost to corporate tax breaks, and by not participating in the Medicaid expansion program, Corbett assures between 482,000 to 683,000 low-income residents will go without healthcare to go along with the nearly 200,000 already thrown off Medicare and Medicaid. It is noteworthy that Medicaid expansion will not cost Pennsylvania one penny until 2017, and then their share will be a paltry 10% to cover nearly a million poor, elderly, and working-poor residents. Not only is Republican Tom Corbett killing jobs, but he is killing the poor and preventing children from a decent education just to perpetuate tax breaks for the rich.
Americans will never have to worry over a foreign enemy destroying this country because Republicans have been doing a fine job for over thirty years with their despicable “get government out of the way” mantra that has borne fruit in all but two Democratic presidents’ terms. Bill Clinton presided over the greatest economic growth since Eisenhower and he accomplished it with higher tax rates for the rich and increased environmental regulations. President Obama created over 4 million jobs with one tiny infusion of government money that will go down in history as saving America’s broken economy thanks to Republican deregulation and outrageous spending on tax cuts, two wars, and a gift to the pharmaceutical industry Americans will be repaying for at least a generation. Still, Republicans in Congress are holding firm to their anti-government agenda that is killing jobs and starving an ever-increasing poverty-stricken population including children and seniors. However, where they are blocked in Washington by a Democratic-controlled Senate and President Obama, they are thriving in Republican-controlled states suffering destruction of jobs, education, and social programs while corporations reap the benefits.
The House Democrats plan is founded on creating jobs and a thriving middle class that will never see the light of day because the notion of creating anything positive for the nation or the people is anathema to destructive Republicans. Despite the knowledge their policies are destroying this country, jobs, and the middle class, Republicans proceed unimpeded because it is their ideological mandate that started with Ronald Reagan and will continue until they are either thrown out of power or the government is run by corporations, and make no mistake, their goal is destroying America that thrived until government became “an impediment” to unrestrained corporate power and wealth. The greatest tragedy is the Republicans are proudly unapologetic for their destructive agenda and they have convinced many, many Americans that until government, and the people, are “out of the way,” they will kill jobs, slash spending, eliminate safety nets, and eviscerate regulations to accomplish what no foreign power could ever hope to achieve; destroy America.
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.