Republicans’ No Good, Nasty, Very Bad Ideas
I have searched my history carefully over the years, and have concluded that the last good Republican idea was 61 years ago, in 1956. It was the official platform for reelection of Eisenhower, and was far to the left of most any Democrat today; you can look it up. Since then, every idea they’ve had has been a bad one, especially for working people. Nixon signing into law the EPA and Clean Water Act? Nope, those were Democratic bills. If you can name even one piece of legislation proposed and passed by Republicans since then that benefitted all Americans, I’d love to hear it. I want to go through their talking points and what each one really means, and I’ll start with taxes, their big bogeyman.
We’ve got to cut taxes, Americans are paying too many taxes, they’ll say. What they really mean is that billionaires are paying too many taxes. Back about 1980, a Reagan economic adviser named Art Laffer came up with what they thought was a brilliant idea. It was called the Laffer Curve, and it basically said that if you cut taxes on the rich and corporations, it would actually increase government revenues. The more the tax cuts, the greater the revenues, so I suppose zero taxes would lead to infinite revenues. It makes as much sense as the idea that if you want to be taller, you should cut off your head and stand on it. It led George H.W. Bush to call it “voodoo economics when he ran against Reagan in 1980.
There’s a much deeper agenda behind tax cuts, called “starve the beast.” Cutting taxes brings less revenue, calling for budget cuts, and these cuts are always to social safety net programs that help the poor, who are lazy and unworthy. So Democrats are tagged as “tax and spend liberals” because they believe in spending on infrastructure, schools and hospitals, and programs that help the victims of Republican policies. That’s the purpose of the government, per the Constitution, to “promote the General Welfare” (of its citizens).
Then there’s the estate tax, which Republican pollster and wordsmith Frank Luntz renamed the Death Tax, in order to demonize it. It only applies to the richest .2%, but the billionaire class, who are the Republicans’ sugar daddies, would like it gone.
Republican Frankenstein says, “Regulations bad!” They hate regulations almost as much as taxes. To them, regulations hinder business growth, but what they really do is prevent industries from running roughshod over people and the environment. For regulations, try the words consumer protections, because that’s what they are. They protect our air, water, and food, or would if they were enforced. Capitalism and democracy are incompatible, unless it’s tightly regulated. Unregulated capitalism — aka free market fundamentalism — always, ALWAYS, leads to monopolies, and the monopolies are just fine with that.
The Rule of Law — Oh, they love that one. They’re always talking about the rule of law, and being held accountable for one’s actions. Of course, that rule only applies to minorities and poor people. The banksters who nearly crashed the economy in 2008 have never been held accountable. White collar crime by white people is exempt from the rule of law.
Republicans have spent decades demonizing the word entitlements, as if they were some kind of welfare program. Their favorite target is Social Security, because they want so desperately to privatize it. Social Security is an insurance program. In fact, FICA stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act. It’s an insurance program people pay into their entire working lives, so they won’t fall into poverty in old age. And they are god damned well entitled to it. You want an example of what Republicans mean by entitlements? The Capitol Gains tax is an entitlement for people who sit on their asses all day making money with money. They don’t contribute anything to society, but pay half the taxes of the rest of us.
Immigrants have always been a target to prey upon, now more than ever. But only the colored ones, “Oh, they’re coming here and taking our jobs!” You mean the jobs you won’t do, like picking lettuce in the hot sun for 10-12 hours? Employers love undocumented workers, and depend on them to work for far less wages than Americans. We don’t have an illegal immigrant problem; we have an illegal employer problem. Our piss poor excuse for a president called them murders and rapists, despite the fact that his grandparents and his mother were immigrants, as were two of his wives. That’s different, though, because they’re white. His intensified roundups for deportation (something Obama was also guilty of) is misplaced. If we’re really concerned about national security, then deport white nationalists.
How many times have you heard Republicans rave about choice? School choice is another term for private charter schools usurping our public education system. Health care choice is really saying you can choose which insurance company you want to be screwed by. Choice breeds competition, they’ll tell you, but when the four or five massive insurance companies collude with each other to keep prices high, well, that shows the need for tight regulation. Yeah, they love choice, unless it applies to a woman having control over her own reproductive system, then Republican Frankenstein says, “Choice bad!”
These days, Republicans are scrambling to repeal and replace Obamacare. They had seven years to come up with a plan, and when it came time for their moment of glory, it was an epic fail. Why? Because it’s full of bad ideas. Take their idiotic HSAs, health savings accounts. People are supposed to save money so they can pay obscene deductibles. Never mind that a study last year by the Federal Reserve found that 47% of Americans couldn’t raise $400 for an emergency. They don’t HAVE savings accounts. They spend all the little they earn just to keep a roof over their heads. Then there are the high-risk pools for people with pre-existing conditions, to keep costs down for healthy people. What that means is that those who need health care the most can’t get it, or pay through the nose, if they can afford it. Speaker Ryan revealed his colossal ignorance when he said the main problem with Obamacare is that healthy people were paying for the sick ones. Yes, Paul, because that’s how insurance works, you sociopathic ass-hat!
They also use the weasel word “access,” as in “Every American will have access to health care.” I have access to buy a Lamborghini from a dealership in Seattle. I can’t afford it, but I have access. Trumpcare 2.0 (which I call the Unaffordable Care Act) is bad, and they knew it. That’s why they pushed it through before the CBO, Congressional Budget Office, could score it. After the CBO scored the first try in February, no one would vote for it so they pulled it. At least, Paul Ryan had the nerve to say, “Doing big things is hard.” A Republican telling the truth is as rare as hens’ teeth. The final slap in our face: Congress members and their staff are exempt from all these provisions. By “access” Republicans mean that anyone can go to the Emergency Room and be treated. Yes, if you have a heart attack or gunshot wound. But if you have cancer and can’t afford the chemo, or diabetes and can’t afford insulin, or an unexplained pain that won’t go away, there’s nothing the ER can do. Same thing with follow up care for that heart attack or gunshot wound; the ER isn’t equipped for that. AND, all these ER visits by people with no other choice just adds to everyone else’s premiums. I thought Republicans were so hot about saving money. It’s just another Big Lie, and some of them actually believe it.
You’ll hear constant preaching from the Right about the evils of federal lands, and how they should be given back to the people. Another word for federal is public. The federal government is holding those public lands apart for all the people, not fossil fool exploiters who want to get in there to drill and frack the place to smithereens.
Well, if the Republicans’ ideas are so bad, why do they keep winning elections? Because they cheat. They know their ideas suck, so they have to rig the elections to have any chance. Using the phony bugaboo Voter Fraud, they’ve passed voter ID laws designed and intended to keep certain people from voting; minorities, women, the elderly, students, and the poor. These demographics traditionally vote Democratic, and for good reason. There are also voter purges in several Republican-controlled states. You show up to vote, told you’re not on the rolls, and fill out a provisional ballot. It should be called a placebo ballot, because these ballots are not only uncounted, they’re usually thrown away.
These people don’t give a damn about democracy, and they hate everything America used to stand for. They don’t believe in government, something their sainted Ronald Reagan (curses be upon his name) affirmed when he said government is not the solution, it is the problem. They believe government can’t work, then go on to prove it every time they’re elected. They are liars and hypocrites, anti-life, and are toxic to democracy. I don’t just want them voted out of office, I want them voted out of the country.