What's Wrong With Republicans
* Republicans favorite sport is dodging taxes and they don't care who gets hurt. In New Hampshire it appears that the unwillingness to provide an adequate tax base results in very high property taxes, and that leads to high volume foreclosures. It is ok with R's if public employee wages get cut, if there is no contribution to pension plans, if higher education gets cut, if infrastructure decays, or if the social safety net is shredded. Their wars are off the books, they don't bother to add up the cost of their always regressive tax cuts, and using tactics from the Enron accountants they can hide the consequences as long as they are in office. Then they complain that pensions are unaffordable. They will privatize Medicare and Social Security as soon as they can.
* Republicans idea that there should be deregulation never acknowledges that the financial market swung out of control like a wrecking ball. Matt Taibbi writes that deregulation actually cost $13 trillion in the latest round of bailouts. (Coincidentally Poppy Bush had to bail out the banks too.) Most Corporations don't actually pay any taxes, so Republicans want to cut Corporate taxes still more. Banks engaged in wild speculation with taxpayer insured money, and they knew that they would not be allowed to fail. Since Republicans oppose sensible regulation, banks are more concentrated than ever, financial crisis will surely be worse next time. Pin the blame on public employees though.
* For Republicans, Corporations
are people and they are
entitled to all the rights bestowed by the Constitution. Except,
unlike people, they can live forever, have no responsibility either
to their state that created them, or to the public, if they are large
enough they don't pay taxes. Instead they extort subsidies from States
that they occupy.
R's idea of freedom: money is free speech. Accordingly, the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruled that corporations are allowed to spend as much as they like on elections. That alone will end democracy in the US. The dictionary definition of fascism is government run by Corporations. We've got that. Thank a Republican.
* R's have done nothing to provide good healthcare for Americans. Sometimes they advocate tort reform, but make no mistake, that is still another way to roll back a consumer right. The sorry condition of US healthcare (it is only slightly better than Cuba's overall.) is a primary cause of the partisan political polarization that has brought us dysfunctional government.
It was a catastrophic error to make employers responsible for providing health insurance for their workers. It has led to widespread anxiety, burdensome paperwork for employers, suppressed job mobility for employees, huge insurance company bureaucracy, and healthcare so expensive that it undermines US competitiveness. Many sectors of the economy compete with other countries that have lower health care costs that are paid for by their governments in simple, single payer plans. The world is not flat.
But it's not just that. R's insist that the modest reforms of
health care by the last Congress must
be rolled back. Massachusetts successfully implemented a similar
plan which covers almost everyone, and there are some excellent
consumer protections. But Republicans don't get campaign cash from
consumers. Recent shootings indicate we should improve our
identification and treatment of those with mental health problems.
R's ignore that. They are inclined to do the insurance companies
bidding because they are all about seeing that corporations have no
restraints. Health 'insurance' that doesn't accept sick people is
* R's have made media corporate and
concentrated it to serve their own propaganda. As a result,
Americans have become some of the worst informed and most exploited
of the developed world. Elections are a profit center for
Murdoch, supervising the manufacture of anger by Fox News, has almost every potential Presidential GOP candidate on his payroll. In view of the toxic dialog and their insistence on the freedom for everyone to own guns, the US is becoming a much more dangerous place. There is a much too long list of assassinations of our finest liberal leaders. We didn't take heed of the power of talk radio in Rwanda.
To continue Corporate control of media,
they have reigned in the internet. So we are destined to be a third world
country as our internet service lags,
our education continues to deteriorate led by willfully ignorant
Republicans degrading higher education and waging their war on
Science. R's need people to be distracted, pacified, and
ignorant to get elected, but they also gerrymander, scrub voter registrations,
* They want education to be their
propaganda tool. They do nothing while higher education becomes
unaffordable and places heavy debt burdens on many kids. Who do you
think will have the better educated workforce, the Scandinavian
countries that provide free, all-expense higher education to all
qualified students, or the US which profits while burdening then with debt ? No accident that Finland has the world's best
educational outcomes. Debt servitude is not much
different than slavery.
* R's think that the market makes good decisions when it is plain to see that it is unstable ( it has crashed again and again), it is unsustainable ( it has no regard for the condition of the environment or even of people), it is unfair (about half of one percent control most of the wealth.) and it is corrupt. The 'free market' is a euphemism for the oligopoly. We are returning to feudalism, loosely defined as government by the wealthy.
* We have elections, but, with bipartisan effort, they are a sham. The two party monopoly will see that it stays that way.
R's don't like elected government making decisions that restrain Corporations. There is very good evidence that our unprecedented wide distribution of income is the cause of not just market failure, but many pathological social problems. Republicans, being basically quite selfish, don't care about that. Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winning economist, thinks Republicans are putting us on a path to a banana republic.
* Republicans have brought austerity to not only the Federal level, but to State and Local levels as well. They want to cut back the size of government, lay off public employees, and that will certainly cause a further economic slowdown. Already poor communities are laying off teachers, police, and a well-armed population will certainly experience considerable violence and unrest. The oligopoly will retreat to walled communities and we return to feudalism.
* Republicans demanded a new round of Nuclear weapons in exchange for their votes to ratify the arms reduction treaty with Russia. (Duh.) We can be destroyed that way as well.
* Republicans have an unholy alliance with the religious right. Their religious exceptionalism has made sworn enemies of the Muslim world (1.5 billion on them), and that is why no amount of money will bring security. Notice, though, that religion is a major motivation for terrorism, and a leading pretext for war. As you are strip searched at the airport, know this: empire building Republicans will cost you your civil liberties, and bankrupt the country.
* Republicans are the party of the military-industrial-media complex, which is why they never hesitate to spend even more money on the world's largest military. Arming ourselves and the rest of the world is one of our last remaining industries, and it explains the insane Republican love affair with guns. As Dean Baker has pointed out, military Keynesianism is counterproductive.
* A lot of the activities, like installing dictatorships in Latin America, must be kept secret, so there is a cloud of secrecy around much of what our government is doing. (It's only a secret to Americans though.) If R's actually respected the spirit of the Constitution, they would object to the secrecy, the torture, renderings, assassinations, drone bombings, and gratuitous wars. They would also find the CIA an unconstitutional government activity for it is a secret army run by an unchecked President.
* R's are warmongers who intend to continue building an empire for world domination. Privatized War profiteering is rampant, so expect endless wars. That's, of course, why we are broke and rapidly losing our civil liberties. Like all empires of the past, we will be destroyed if we continue on this path.
* R's worry about the deficit. Although they always have money for tax cuts, for the military, and for the secret government, there is never money for people, or for much in the way of infrastructure. That's why they are always willing to cut health care, social security, pensions, to pay for their military adventures. If the 'free market' (read oligopoly) thinks jobs should migrate to third world subsistence wage countries, then that's ok with them.
* Republicans argue that climate change is a hoax, even as unusually destructive weather events, in agreement with climate models, increase in frequency. The science is in, but the Tea Party 'patriots' don't believe it. As glaciers melt, the polar ice caps recede, the CO2 levels accelerate greenhouse effects, fisheries collapse, fresh water fish become inedible, aquifers recede, toxic waste accumulates, species die off, and population continues to explode, Republicans are oblivious. Their medieval religion convinces them that mankind is not in control of its own destiny, so they feel free to destroy the planet. (Notice that Religion is a primary motivation for terrorism.) They have to spurn the best scientific opinion to hold these views, so their war on science is their contribution to education.
* they thumb their nose at international law
In their unwillingness to address climate issues, they are following the Jim Jones legacy. This time the Kool-Aid is for the entire planet.
Republicans put the US on a fast path to the bottom, made enemies of much of the rest of the world, and endanger the habitability of the planet. They haven't made a sensible, constructive solution to any our problems for years. The more serious problems they ignore because they are all about the money. They are greedy, corrupt, short-sighted, mean-spirited, human-rights abusing, often racist, militarist, religious zealots, xenophobic, war-mongering, empire-building, corporatists (fascists).
Since there is little chance that they can change course, here
is the likely forecast.