Sunday, April 12, 2009

Is the Republican budget another Bridge to Nowhere?

The Republicans in the Congress released their budget plan and with it their alternative to the plan laid out by President Obama. the document ran a grand total of 13 pages, as Newsweek reported, and to say it was light on specifics would be as much an understatement as saying Rush Limbaugh likes cigars, prescription drugs, and homage-paying heads of the Republican party. The Republican party has been the party of the rich, white and male ever since that fateful day when the party approved a Southern strategy that emphasized the disenfranchisement of the white voter and accused the Democrats of selling out when they supported the Voting Rights and the Civil Rights Acts. They committed to serving the upper class at the expense of the poor and middle class. The "Solid Republican South" was the result of that strategy and it served them well politically for quite some time. They continued receiving more money from the rich and powerful than the Dems and used it to dominate election after election. The party, or rather, Regressives in the party, opposed every piec of Progressive legislation from the New Deal on. They opposed Social Security and the creation of the SEC and any banking regulation. They opposed Medicare and Head Start. They opposed the creation of the Farm Labor Standards Act, National Labor Relations Board and the idea of a minimum wage. Their support for deregulation and a totally free market financial system sowed the seeds of th Savings and Loan meltdown and the latest fiscal crisis. Their's was not the gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; but rather, Milton, Alan, Dick and Ronnie. For 75 years, Republicans in Congress fought a guerilla war to dismantle the New Deal, New
Frontier and the Great Society. They attacked and tore down every firewall that Roosevelt had erected to prevent another national financial meltdown. Under both Reagan and Bush they ran up deficits on purpose so as David Stockman said, to cut off the oxygen to social programs that they did not have the votes to kill. By creating huge deficits, they could reduce social spending without leaving any tell-tale fingerprints. It is no accident that Bush the younger took the surplus he inherited and gave it to the rich in the form of tax cuts, and an unnecessary and destructive war in Iraq, which benefitted his allies in the defense contracting community and oil and gas industry while running up deficits that are unprecedented in American history. They did it on purpose. Thirteen pages represent the sum total of Republican ideas about everything from credit default swaps to housing foreclosures and millions of jobs lost. Thirteen pages represent their new ideas about how to handle this crisis. While they ran the Congress and the White House they expanded government, engaged in foreign adventures, ran up deficits and deregulated and encouraged a financial system that rewarded greed and avarice and attacked anyone who dared to say the emperor had no clothes. Thirteen pages represents the party most closely identified with a free market capitalist system that has completely failed. Thirteen pages represents their attacks on the President which can be summarized as "...he is spending too much, regulating too much, taxing too much, running up the deficits too much and expanding government too much. They defend the capitalism that has wrecked the global economy and attacked Obama's ideas about re-regulation , national health care and a new energy strategy as rampant socialism. Thirteen pages represents the intellectual candle power of this political party which left this nation in shambles after eight years of stewardship. Maybe it's time that Rush becomes the new head of the party. Thirteen pages will guarantee that Obama fails. There are plenty of places to criticize the President and his ideas. Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman says he doesn't go far enough. Democratic Senator Kent Conrad, chairman of the Budget Committee, says he goes too far. But thirteen pages...
What do you think? I welcome your comments and rebuttals.
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