The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.- FDR
America's fundamental problem, in my opinion, since Ronald Reagan came to office January 20, 1981, and declared the fateful words: "Government is not the solution to our problem, Government is the problem" we have been on a more than a 30 year jag of dismantling the very means to address the challenges we face as a society. Jeffrey Sachs CSPAN 2/17/12
"The refusal to provide very minimal living standards to people who are caught in this monstrosity — that's just pure savagery." –Noam Chomsky
Republicans are driving a very bad bargain: "we are in the process of destroying a great many things which are real air, soil, water, energy, resources, other species, our health for the sake of something that exists chiefly in our imagination: money. from DeclineOfTheEmpire.com
Republicans don't like government, so it is not clear why they
are so anxious to be part of it. Their single-minded goal is not
about good government, it is about removing Obama. Now it is about
stopping him from doing anything. Because their values are mostly
about money, their priorites are warped. In short, they are determined
to get power, and they don't much care how they do it.
Republican Economic Policy is short-sighted, regressive, and widely discredited.
* Republican austerity is doing
more harm than good.
* In the face of massive unemployment, Republicans decided, against advice of our best economists, that austerity should be at the top of the agenda and they proposed a budget to match. In many states this resulted in massive public sector layoffs, degradation of services, and more unemployment. Since unemployment was certain to go up with their policy, many of us think they intend to crash the economy to win election. History shows austerity doesn't counter recession. Ask the Europeans. Paul Krugman, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, elaborates this in his book: End This Depression Now!
* History shows that every democracy is short lived. Republicans economic policy is always regressive. As wealth becomes concentrated, people in general lose their voices, an oligopoly then governs, financial volatility increases, an empire ensues, and finally it is all destroyed. The US is well along this path. When most people do not agree with the opinions of the affluent, studies show that the wealthy prevail. Republican initiatives have created a strong-man head of state, ripped off the middle class, crashed the economy, downsized our civil liberties, and are putting the next generation into debt servitude. The Constitution was designed to protect us from concentrated power, but Republicans are not paying attention to that part. What they have accomplished is treasonous: Government by Corporations.
* Republicans do not recognize the toxic effects of income inequality, but it can propel
most people into debt servitude and crash the economy. Although
polls show it is very popular across the political spectrum,
Republicans oppose raising the minimum wage.
Members of Congress are quite wealthy. So it is no surprise that the US is now a feudal state, one run by the very wealthy. See this video (Joseph Stiglitz)
'Supply Side' economics has been completely discredited. Bush senior rightly call it Voodoo Economics.
Republican tax policy is always
regressive. The estate tax (aka the death tax) doesn't apply to 99% of
the people, its elimination benefits only the very wealthiest but Republicans are determined
to eliminate it.
Republicans Are Determined to Cut Social Programs
When Republicans vow to make government smaller, the most important cuts for them are downsizing Social Security, Medicare, Head Start, or even food stamps. In addition, they would privatize education, shrink the post office, but they have no problem growing the world's largest military. They are driving the massive downward mobility of the US middle class.
This is not new. Republicans have, at least since Ronald
opposed any effort to assist the underclass.
A strong social safety net is not
just an economic
stabilizer, it is a moral attempt to assist the poor.
In 1995 we had a government shutdown Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House. Than, as now, Republicans were determined to cut Social Security, Medicare, and welfare was also a target. They haven't changed. Now they are determined to gut the Affordable Care Act, voucherize Medicare, and block grant other programs for the truly vulnerable. However they can always find money for tax cuts for the wealthy, the world's largest military, the burgeoning National Security State, and the world dominating empire they envision.
* Republicans have been engaging in brinkmanship with full awareness that the economy could crash, They don't care very much if the US loses financial stability or if the world economy crashes, what they want is to cut programs that actually benefit people: like Social Security, Medicare, head start, food stamps, and especiallly Obamacare. It is extortion. They have broken the social contract.
* Republicans oppose efforts to assist the middle class.
They oppose raising the minimum wage, which would be an economic
stimulus. They would cut social programs, they would privatize Social Security, voucherize
Medicare, cut food stamps, save money on head start. have no
credible answers for health care
issues, and have a stealth program to privatize education.
Cuts to higher education pushed
tuition higher and graduating students now face heavy debt (which
they cannot escape with bankruptcy), but Republicans have not
stopped student interest rates from doubling. and in the House of
Representatives have attempted to repeal Obamacare
37 times in what was not only a
complete waste of time. They have NO concern with the millions of
Americans who are uninsured. Universal healthcare is not part of
the Republican dream for America.
While protecting tax breaks for millionaires, they oppose relief for working Americans. They bust unions, oppose consumer protection agencies, and don't even protect school children from fast-food companies. The Ryan Budget reflects the mean spirited, regressive Republican approach. See this video of Elizabeth Warren.
* Concentrated wealth leads to oligarchy, economic instability, toxic media, political corruption, fascism, and other social pathology. It can be damped down with stiff graduated taxes, but Republicans think a flat tax is a good idea, although, not surprisingly, quite regressive. Since they are the party of oligarchs, R's are anxious to abolish the estate tax also. Such policies DO redistribute wealth...upward. Republicans are the party of the very wealthy.
If Republicans get their way, our shredded social safety net will be cut further. the economy will sink as a result of austerity, poverty will continue to soar, the wealthy will continue to receive benefits from the government that they have bought, the wall between church and state will be smashed, and we will go to war with Iran. There will be blow-back. People will suffer because Republicans impoverish the poor to benefit the already wealthy.
* Although US infrastructure is
poor condition, many jobs might have been created by repairing it.
Interest rates are low, and it would have been a good investment,
Republicans opposed all real job creation efforts
The Republican mantra is YOYO: your on your own. It is every man for himself, and you should be armed with automatic weapons for your own safety. Picture those old wild west movies enhanced with assault weapons. Check out Charles Derber's book, Wilding of America, for some ot the consequences.
Republicans are Fascists
* The Supreme Court, packed with right-wing ideologues, is reliably supporting Republican policy. It has accomplished a coup: we now have a corrupt government by the corporations instead of government by the people. We have, as Lawrence Lessig has documented so well, lost our Republic. Government run by corporations is, by definition, fascist. See this video. (Lawrence Lessig)
* Corporations are not people, and they should not be allowed to pour cash into politics. It is corrupting. Cash is not speech. Profit is not their highest goal. Citizens United assures government by corporations, not people. Rule by corporations is, by definition, fascism.
* Republicans are corporatists
they represent the interests of the already wealthy.
They want regressive tax cuts, suppression of labor unions, and religion
that subjugates people. Deregulation,
privatization, is a strategy that removes corporate oversight,
transparency, accountability, and it is a major cause of the latest
market crash. Just as Bush I, taxpayers had to bail out the banks
again because Republicans have not learned the lessons of the great
depression and continue to fight for less financial
regulation. Expect another crash, only this time it will be
worse because banks are even larger than last time,
* We have media that Congress allowed to become dangerously concentrated. Rupert Murdoch, found unfit to run a major corporation in Britain, not allowed in Canada, owns the Republican party and is actively spreading misinformation. Since he has not been held accountable, toxic politics will continue in the US. He can be credited with incitement to right-wing terrorism: the assassination of abortion doctors, death threats on high-profile liberals, and other civil disorder. See this video. (Robert McChesney)
* Except for Ron Paul, Republican candidates agreed that water boarding is effective. Although they strongly defend the second amendment (they are well funded by the gun industry), they stood by silently as the rest of the bill of rights has been eviscerated.
The 'conservative' justices of the Supreme Court have accomplished a coup: they have removed the government of the people and replaced it with government by the corporations. That is, by dictionary definition, fascism. Our government is not broke, it is bought.
Nation: Charles Derber.
Republicans are Theocrats
* Republicans often proclaim religious zeal. Many of them are trying to break down the wall between church and state. Notice that the most religious countries (or states) are also the most backward. Our most highly educated communities are also the most liberal. Republicans frequently deny climate change, evolution, and many of them say higher education is indoctrination or snobbery. It appears that they are waging a war on science and, using large money incentives, are politicizing higher education and funding ideology driven 'think tanks'.
* Republicans religious hypocrisy is on full display as they
welfare, food stamps, meals on wheels, and other services for
* Republicans claim to favor small, unintrusive government,
they have no problem defending the Patriot
Act, the universal spying, government secrecy,
or mandating invasive procedures for women.
Women were not allowed to testify about
this. Further, this was used as an excuse to allow employers to
tailor their health
insurance coverage any way they want. It appears
that the hidden hand of the health
insurance industry and the Catholic
church are motivating
these policies. They have opposed equal pay for women (the Lily Ledbetter Act). They are
doubling down on the
war on women.
Republicans Have embarked on a National Campaign of Voter Suppression
US elections do not meet international
standards. The two parties have
a lock on the discussion. They are backed by corporate media. and
Citizens United enables a flood of dark money to fund them.
* Republicans, in states that they control, after
Congressional districts, have attacked public sector unions, laid off massive numbers of employees
(further depressing the economy ) and are engaging in a campaign of voter suppression. They have been
empowered to do this by partisan hacks on the Supreme Court.
* Given Republicans effort to make voting more difficult, we should have substantial election reform. The Republican primary was an ugly, negative campaign by remarkably undistinguished candidates trying to sell bad policy. They call themselves 'conservatives', but they are anything but.
* Illegal immigration is, of course a stealth Republican wedge issue, a continuation of the Republican war on the underclass. Like the "war on drugs", it also benefits for-profit prisons. Because felons are often not allowed to vote again, harsh crime policy effectively suppresses minority votes.
* They celebrate Reagan's 'Tear Down This Wall' speech in Germany, while funding an even more secure wall the length of the Mexican border.
* Republicans, in opposing any sensible regulation of firearms, have brought an epidemic of gun violence upon us. They are funded by the NRA, a front group for the arms industry, and apparently only pro-life for the unborn. They are not too concerned about the 137,000 deaths that result from Americans who have no health insurance coverage. deaths resulting from widespread famine in other countries, or deaths from domestic gun violence. Although the Republican House talked a lot about jobs, what they spent time on was abortion. Their policy on population is, long-run, self destructive. See this for example.
* The right-wing government of Israel has contributed millions of dollars to the GOP, so the one thing the Republican candidates agree on is that they will support Israel in all circumstances. Israel is seriously considering military action against Iran. All Republican Presidential candidates favored war with Iran.
Republicans are the party of the Military/industrial complex
The Republican government in waiting, selected by Mitt Romney, was staffed by the same warmongers who lied to go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan and are determined to build a world-dominating empire. Republicans have not been held accountable for criminal acts including wire taps, torture, renditions, and lying to go to war and that means the felons will be back if they can win elections.
* Republicans are the party of the military-industrial complex, so although we have no major enemies in sight, they refuse to cut the military budget. Like any fascist government, they would expand the military by cutting programs that actually benefit people, With the exception of Ron Paul, they are always ready to arm themselves to go to war. They have funded expensive, provocative weapons programs like 'star wars' that cannot and will not work. This benefits corporate war profiteers, and robs people of necessities like health care as well as efficient infrastructure like high-speed rail. Because the US is now an empire, the US military, now the largest in the world is dispersed to over a hundred countries. It is the reason we are facing financial ruin, opposition abroad, loss of our civil liberties, deteriorating services, declining standard of living, and a militarized country. See thisvideo. (Chalmers Johnson.)
The US not only has the world's largest military, it is number
in WMDs, and Republicans want to spend even more...even though
there is no credible threat to justify it.
If Republicans had the moral superiority that they claim, they
would want peace. They would have some
respect for international law,
International Criminal Court, and pay their dues to the UN. Instead they oppose efforts to reduce
numbers of nuclear weapons and support the provocative star wars boondoggle. But war is
profitable, and world-dominating empire is
their goal, so they are warmongers. Like fascists
in history, they are not concerned with
the well-being of actual people. Only corporations.
Becuse war is profitable, they are warmongers.
Republicans Disdain International Institutions
As we continue to destroy the habitability
of our planet, more of our
challenges are global. (See Kishore Mahbubani's book 'The Great Convergence'
for that argument.) It seems apparent that the US has great disdain
for international opinion and
institutions since it has consistently opposed adequate funding for
the UN, and crippled the WHO and the IAEA . It
cannot bring itself to join the ICC.
Republicans oppose science: They are Climate Change Deniers
* The most profitable corporations, notably the fossil fuel industries, back the climate denying
'experts' and the Republicans. While real conservatives would leave
carbon in the ground, Republicans cheer for the XL pipeline,
fracking, and more drilling.
* In 1972 the club of Rome computer models showed that growth cannot be unlimited and recent studies show their forecast is on track. Republican's ideas about population, resource use, and market fundamentalism assure that as we reach resource limits, the results will be catastrophic. See this video. (Bill McKibbon)
* The pressure of population has
caused the plundering of the planet: fisheries are collapsing,
glaciers melting with declining fresh water, desertification
accelerating, crop land shrinking, soil deteriorating, forests
diseased, species going extinct, and weather becoming more extreme.
Republicans ignore these problems.
"In the past fifty years we've doubled our irrigated cropland and tripled our water consumption to meet global food demand. In the next fifty, we must double food production again. Is there really enough water to pull that off ? In his book When the Rivers Run Dry environmental journalist Fred Pearce describes in vivid, firsthand detail the stark reality of impending water crises in more than thirty countries around the globe. We now withdraw so much water that many of our mightiest and most historic rivers - like the Nile, the Colorado, the Yellow, the Indus - have barely a trickle left to meet the sea." (From the World in 2050: Laurence C Smith)
* We live on a planet that is unique as far as telescopes can see. Republicans refuse to acknowledge that the climate is rapidly deteriorating and see no need to stop profligate burning of fossil fuels, slow population growth, or even to take care in harvesting resources.
It could have been worse. The Republican government in waiting is a group that includes Neocon war mongers (see Iraq or Iran), misogynists, bigots, racists, theocrats, homophobes , fascists, gun lovers, and other right-wing nuts. They have brought on us a corporate empowering Supreme Court that selected W and his wrecking crew, and has all but destroyed the republic with Citizens United. This Republican Congress is the most obstructionist, dysfunctional and unproductive in our history. Their misguided agenda will put the majority in debt servitude to profit the oligarchs that own the party. But they are primarily tax-dodgers unwilling to pay for services required by an advanced country. They are the party of ideas...only bad ones.
With Republican policy of disaster capitalism, humanity is doomed to an inhospitable planet if not extinction. That is their legacy for their grandchildren. They are like Jim Jones on a planet-wide scale.
Republicans values are all about money. They do not think the American dream includes healthcare for all, nor do they respect the role of science in establishing fact (they deny the looming climate crisis), they twist their religion to invert its dictum to burden the poor and profit the wealthy, they do not believe economists assessment of the damage from their austerity and brinksmanship, they are corporatists which by definition is fascism, their voter id laws and gerrymandering reveal their racism, their 'stand your ground' laws grant a right to vigilantism, their appetite for all things military is insatiable, they cry out for small government but don't worry about the NSA, they don't like government which is why they are so bad at it, their YOYO (your on your own) attitude is largely responsible for the "Wilding of America" (see Charles Derber's book of the same title), their obstruction has made US government dysfunctional. Although they yell they are defenders of the Constitution, their actions will shred it. Carrying the confederate flag, it is apparent that many of them are secessionists. Should you vote for them ? Not if you are an actual patriot.
Here's the forecast.
Consider also Republican History,
Mitt Romney's Real Agenda (9/28/2012)