Veto Republicans

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 

There is no question in my mind anymore that the Republican Party has reconfigured itself as a Confederate party. Not because it is so largely white, though it is. Not because it is largely Southern, though it is that, too. And not because it fights so hard for vestigial accoutrements like the Confederate battle flag. The Republican Party is a Confederate party, I think, because that is its view of what the government of the United States should be. It is written quite clearly in the party's platform that the Republicans adopted last week in Tampa: "The Republican party... stands for the rights of individuals, families, faith communities. institutions — and of the States which are their instruments of self-government." Charles Pierce: Esquire Magazine 9/2012

Republicans don't like government. Their single-minded goal is not about good government, it is about stopping Obama from doing anything. Because their values are mostly about money, their priorities are warped. In short, they are determined to get power, and they don't much care how they do it. They win by gaming elections,  misinformation, gerrymandering, voter suppression, or even dirty tricks. That's how W won Florida (with his brother's help) that resulted in massive tax cuts for the wealthy, two pointless wars, and his legacy, clueless Supreme Court that assured the corruption of the US with Citizen's United.

It is difficult to find even a single, constructive Republican policy choice.

Republican Economic Policy is short-sighted, regressive, and widely discredited.

* Republican austerity does more harm than good. It leads to more unemployment, crumbling infrastructure, degraded internet, poor services, and a depressed economy. Everyone loses.

* 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.  Since unemployment was certain to go up with their policy, many of us think they intended 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.

In Republican states, austerity resulted in massive public sector layoffs, degradation of services, and more unemployment.  17,000 people may die because they live in a State that refused Medicaid expansion. Republicans are openly hostile to labor unions, and, as in Wisconsin, attempt to roll back bargaining rights.  Republican logic: Low wages accompanied by tax cuts for the wealthy makes a State "business friendly". When the tax  cuts cause revenue decline, Republicans cry emergency and they find the easiest cuts to make are for public sector pensions. New Jersey underfunded pensions for a long time, until Governor Christie decided to fix the problem by having employees pay more and cutting benefits. When he found that the New Jersey was still over $800 million out of balance, he decided to hit the pension fund again. Actually lower wages, shrunken pensions, and corporate welfare widen income inequality, and State's competition to be the lowest is a fast path to the bottom.   

* Republicans do not recognize the toxic effects of income inequality, which 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. Income inequality is not only unfair, socially corrosive, but also lessens demand and weakens the economy.

Watch Bernie Sanders CRUSH Every Argument Against Raising the Minimum Wage in Under 6 Minutes! (Video)

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 called it Voodoo Economics.

We have seen that deregulation favors polluters, encourages financial corruption,  results in public health  hazards: all from loss of public accountability.

Republicans motivated the dismantling of New Deal economic stabilizers like Glass-Steagle. As a result the economy is much more volatile.

There is a strong correlation of Bush Presidency's and massive bank bailouts. Banks are even larger now than when they were too big to fail. Next time, and there is almost certain to be a next time (coincidentally the bailouts always seem to occur when Republicans are in office),  they should be nationalized.

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. To make matters worse, Republicans have changed tax policy so that unearned income is taxed at much lower rates than income from actual work. Such policy has propelled the U.S. to unprecedented income inequality with all of the toxic consequences that brings.

The US Debt Ceiling For Dummies

How to Ruin An Economy: Some Simple Ways (video) 2/10/2014

Republicans Are Determined to Cut Social Programs

Just about everywhere in the West except the United States, where there is no mandatory paid time off, workers not only get vacations but also short work weeks, government health care, large pensions, high minimum wages, subsidized childcare, and so forth. Why is the United States the exception?" Claude S Fischer, Boston Review

Republicans are waging a war on the poor. They are driving the massive downward mobility of the US middle class. They have broken the social contract.

This is not new. Republicans have, at least since Ronald Reagan, 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.

When Republicans vow to make government smaller, the most important cuts for them are downsizing Social Security, Medicare, Head Start, or even food stamps. Although they have no credible substitute, they are determined to roll back Obamacare. In Republican States, rather than help the uninsured, they would rather let people die.

They would privatize education, shrink the post office, but they have no problem growing the world's largest military.

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. The reality is that a weakening US economy can no longer support the American empire, although, since Republicans cannot give up, we are losing our standard of living to pay for it. There must be great secrecy for this policy and black agencies are well funded so that Americans are ignorant about it.

* 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 especially 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 48 times in what was not only a complete waste of time. They have NO concern with the millions of Americans who are uninsured and no credible improvements.  Universal healthcare is not part of the Republican dream for America. Republican States have managed to sabotage Obamacare though, thus depriving their uninsured of any benefit. Oddly, these Republican States are quite poor and more in need. Conservative States, mostly the old Confederacy, are more backward.

As the middle class sinks, so does the economy because demand dries up, and a vicious cycle causes recession or worse.

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. Yet another vicious cycle occurs as the wealthy game the system even further for their own benefit. This is yet another short-sighted Republican policy in which everyone becomes poorer as a result.

* Although US infrastructure is in 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, and there is no doubt that repairs will be much more costly later.

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 have wrecked US media

Toxic political commentary has resulted from Republicans turning over media to oligarchs and relieving them of public responsibility. Media concentration has not only created a few billionaires, it has contributed mightily to income inequality, cut local jobs, made elections obscenely expensive, forced politicians to be fund-raisers, corrupted politics, reduced much that is broadcast into outrage and misinformation, and made a mockery of the competitive 'free market' (a free market, by definition, has reliable information and many competitors. US media has neither. ) . The FCC buried a report that concluded that concentration of media causes loss of local jobs, loss of local news, and loss of local accountability. The oligarchs are politically powerfull so we are no longer a democracy.

Journalism is on life support, universal surveillance stops informed comment, whistleblowers are harshly punished, ideologues dominate the news, conglomerates judge the election as a competition for money freezing out candidates without deep pockets, and all the while keeping Americans distracted, pacified, and ignorant compared to people in well-governed countries.

Expensive media assures that only the wealthy can have opportunity in politics. It is shameful that only two or three families are eligible candidates for the Presidency. Similar  ancestry dominates the Congress.

The internet is subject to the same consolidating forces as the rest of media. Democracy, like journalism, is on a death watch. So are civil liberties.

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 prosperous and 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 cut taxes for the wealthy, and then cut welfare, food stamps, meals  on wheels, and other services for the poor.

* Republicans claim to favor small, unintrusive government, but 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.

* It should be obvious to anyone paying attention that religion is the main motivator for terrorism. Recognizing this, why should it be tax exempt when we have massive military expenses to be prepared for the consequences of religious intolerance.

* Many religious beliefs are in direct contradiction of settled science, so we ought to call them what they are: failed science.

* Mass extinction has already begun and Republican attitudes are most likely suicidal for humanity. (More on this below.)

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. Election rigging is rampant...and Republican.

* Republicans, in states that they control, after gerrymandering 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, (others are God, Gays, and abortion) 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. The US record levels of incarceration are a win-win for Republicans because they profit private prisons, they are a tool for increasing the population of rural areas, and they suppress voter eligibility. Michel Alexander has written that they are the new Jim Crow.

* They celebrate Reagan's 'Tear Down This Wall' speech in Germany, while funding an even more secure wall the length of the Mexican border. This is profitable for a number of military contractors.

* The US Congress is thoroughly corrupted by money. (See this video of Larry Lessig.)

* Having been paid off by UPS and Fedex, they have made the Post Office a casualty of their privatization efforts. Next , with Rupert Murdoch and Jeb Bush leading, will be privatization of schools.

* 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.

* Face it. Republicans are war mongers and profiteers.

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 so they represent the interests of the already wealthy. They want regressive tax cuts, suppression of labor unions, and religion that subjugates people. Deregulation, like 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. Congress overwhelmingly decides for the wealthy.

Republicans, like other fascists in history, don'e care about the well-being of the people. That's why they are persistent in cutting all constructive social programs.

             See Corporation Nation: Charles Derber.

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 this video. (Chalmers Johnson.)

A large part of the US 'defense' budget is secret because it is used for purposes that citizens would never approve and to fund state terrorism world wide. (See, for example, SOAW.org)

The US not only has the world's largest military, it is number 1 in WMDs, and Republicans want to spend even more...even though there is no credible threat to justify it.

Republicans have no desire to stand down nuclear weaponry. They want even more.

If Republicans had the moral superiority that they claim, they would want peace. They would have some respect for international law, join the 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.

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 (International Criminal Court).

Republicans work tirelessly to weaken the UN.

War is profitable. Although our economy is no longer able to support it, it is necessary to renounce our empire to avoid complete ruin, but Republicans  will not.

Republicans oppose science: They are Climate Change Deniers

*  Republicans, representing corporate oligarchs, have been the force behind climate change denial, ignoring scientists with actual evidence. This, alone, is sufficient reason not to vote for them.

* Corrupt media sides with money, and never lets on that there is a problem with climate.

* 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 polluters, the XL pipeline, fracking, and more drilling. We should repeal payroll taxes and replace them with a carbon tax, but we won't because Republican tax policy is  corrupt.

* 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. Although the IPCC has escalated the warning, Republicans ignore these problems. See Guy McPherson's web site: "Nature Bats Last".

"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 or controlling pollutants. If they can make a buck, they would rather destroy the planet.

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.

Summary

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

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.

Recent surveys and pundits forecast that Republicans can win control of the Senate. If that happens and they stay on their course, they will continue denial of climate change and head for certain disaster. They will deny the unfairness of extreme inequality and the corrosive social consequences. They will cut programs for the poor and vulnerable claiming that the deficit is more of a threat. They will continue the corrupt privatization of public facilities including schools, the internet, media, Post Office, and more. Universal surveillance will continue, civil liberties will be a distant memory,  real journalism will disappear, and, as the economy tanks (Banks too big to fail are even bigger now) militarization of the police will be appropriate for an arms race with right-wing protesters heavily armed with assault weapons. A recent study determined that the U.S. is an oligopoly now, and a new book by Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, forecasts that the one percent are going to benefit from an even greater concentration of wealth which will be accelerated by Republican policy. Expect a new Dark Age in America.

Here's the forecast.

More at http://www.seconnecticut.com/republicans.htm

Water for Elephant

or see What's Wrong With Republicans ?

Consider also Republican History.

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

"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

“When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.” ~ Cree prophecy

Bibliography

...what we are now seeing are the obvious characteristics of the West after the fall of Rome: the triumph of religion over reason; the atrophy of education and critical thinking; the integration of religion, the state, and the apparatus of torture -- a troika that was for Voltaire the central horror of the pre-Enlightenment world; and the political and economic marginalization of our culture. Of course, the Dark Ages were not uniformly monochromatic, as recent scholarship has demonstrated; but then, neither is present-day America. The point is that in both cases "dark" is the operative word. Morris Berman
Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post, said the Republicans are willing, essentially, to allow World War III to commence unless the IRS does not enforce the law on dark money, such as from the Koch brothers. To quote him  "It's bananas". It is pretty crazy. "Allow us to break the law in order to win elections, or we allow WW III".  Rachel Maddow show 3/24/2014

Links

The GOP Autopsy Had 11 Proposals To Change Its Image. How’s That Going? (12/5/2013)

Republicans Are Too Expensive In Jobs and Dollars For America (10/8/2013)

Republican Lunatics vote against the Rights of Disabled People (12/4/2012)

Mitt Romney's Real Agenda (9/28/2012)

Republicans Filibuster the disclose Act so Wealthy Donors Won't Get their Feelings Hurt


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