The inordinate desire to possess goods, or objects of abstract value with the intention to keep it all for one’s self beyond the dictates of basic comfort is greed, and it also applies to the desire for, and a pursuit of, wealth and power. Republicans exhibit inordinate greed for power over the government, and it explains their four-and-a-half year drive to take everything they can get their greedy hands on from the American people to give to their wealthy corporate and millionaire supporters.
It can hardly be disputed that throughout Barack Obama’s tenure as President, Republicans have not made one concession or presented one piece of legislation to benefit the people, and they have blocked every single attempt by the President and Democrats to help Americans with jobs and sustaining social programs. Despite that Democrats have not asked for, or won, any concessions from the GOP to help the people, a Republican Senator accused Democrats of being greedy for not paying a ransom for Republicans to do the jobs they were sent to Washington to do; fund the government and pay the nation’s debts.
Yesterday, Kentucky Senator and teabag hero Rand Paul accused President Obama and Senate Democrats of not negotiating to open the government or raise the debt limit because they were “getting greedy about this whole thing.” Paul was referring to Democratic demands that Republicans pass a clean continuing resolution to open the government and raise the debt limit unconditionally. It was a typical conservative ploy to project on Democrats and the President what Republicans are doing in holding the government and borrowing limit hostage in their war to control the government.
The truth is that Senate Democrats already conceded to Republican demands and gave them their austerity budget for fiscal 2014, including keeping sequestration level spending cuts in place for the sole purpose of keeping the government open. It was insufficient for greedy Republicans who demand that Democrats concede more and they are keeping the government shuttered and threatening a credit default unless the President gives them more power over government and wealth from the American people. At issue for Republicans accusing Democrats of being greedy is Paul Ryan’s demand that Democrats “compromise” and cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in exchange for Republicans raising the debt limit, but not funding the government. Ryan is also demanding that the President give Republicans the right to allow Christian employers to withhold contraception from their employees because greed for power is part and parcel of the Republican mindset.
According to the Washington Post, in a private meeting with House Republicans Ryan was livid and railed against a Republican Senate proposal to fund the government through March at sequester levels and raise the debt ceiling through January. Ryan said the “House could not accept either a debt-limit bill or a government-funding measure that would delay the next fight until the new year” because Republicans are desperate to beat the January 1st deadline to stop the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. Republicans at the meeting said Ryan needed leverage to delay the ACA, add a “conscience clause” to stop contraception coverage, extract entitlement cuts, and tax cuts for the rich in exchange for opening the government and raising the debt limit before the first of the year. All Democrats have asked for is that House Republicans do their job and fund the government with the Senate’s austerity budget and raise the debt limit to pay for their two wars, tax cuts for the rich, and subsidies for the oil, religious, and agricultural industries.
One wonders where Rand Paul finds greed in Democratic demands that Republicans do their jobs, when Republicans will crash the economy and keep the government closed unless their greed for power is satisfied by enacting the Romney-Ryan platform that cost them the 2012 general election. If one takes stock of the Republican demands since the start of the 113th Congress, and particularly over the past three weeks, they would understand the depth and true meaning of abject greed inherent in an assault to strip everything the people’s tax dollars pay for. Just the Republican demands to do their Constitutional duty and pay the bills they incurred is stunning in its blatant robbery of the American people.
The Republicans first offer to raise the debt limit included eliminating Planned Parenthood funding, privatizing Medicare, defunding the Affordable Care Act, eliminating insurance coverage for birth control, slash food stamps, eliminating EPA authority, eliminate social service block grants, means-testing Social Security, restricting the child tax credit for families, and trillions of dollars in other budget cuts affecting all Americans. It does not take a quantum physicist to figure out that every Republican demand is predicated on taking as much as possible from the American people and it is the definition of sheer greed for power and wealth to give the rich tax cuts according to the Ryan budget. Add to those demands the House Republican votes to eliminate overtime pay, healthcare for poor women and children, food stamps, and now a concerted effort to slash Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid under the guise of deficit reduction. As an aside, Americans are still waiting for one Democrat, any Democrat including President Obama, to tell the American people that under no circumstance does Social Security take or add one penny to the nation’s deficit, but there is the very real possibility that Democrats will give away elderly Americans’ retirement to the greedy Republicans to prevent a credit default.
Rand Paul was absolutely correct that there is rampant greed in Congress, but it is all on the Republican side because Democrats, up to now, have been terrified to tell greedy Republicans they have taken enough from the American people in their inordinate desire for wealth and power to rule America. To be fair to the beleaguered Republicans, their greed is not solely for the desire for and pursuit of wealth to keep for themselves, but for the ruling power to take everything from the American people. Since they won control of the House in 2010, Republicans have attempted to rob the people of social programs, education, women’s reproductive rights, food and healthcare, housing assistance for the poor, unemployment benefits, sick leave, overtime pay, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and jobs with their manufactured debt ceiling crisis in 2011 and the resulting sequestration cuts they are desperate to keep in place for nine more years.
What is telling about Republicans is that despite their pathetic disapproval numbers from Americans sick-to-death of being economically raped and deprived of programs paid for with their tax dollars, the GOP is clamoring for more and they are willing to keep the government shut down and cause a credit default to extract more from the people. It is long-past time for Democrats to be greedy to preserve what little wealth the American people have left and save America’s vanishing representative democracy because in their inordinate desire for power, greedy Republicans will take that from Americans; if it even still exists.
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.