Thursday, March 3, 2011

GOP Strategy...

Slowly, but very surely, the long-term GOP economic strategy for this country is becoming more evident.  However, it is one thing to know the political goals and objectives of a group and another to recognize the seemingly disconnected tactics and steps that they are taking to get us all there.  
The goals are economic globalization, deregulation, privatization, small government and lower taxation.  In order to accomplish these objectives the backbone of the Democratic Party must be broken and the strong, loyal large union organizations that support the Party and its goals must be broken and disbanded.  We see that attempt today in Wisconsin and Ohio, but it is spreading in state capitals nationwide.  
Thursday’s New York Times editorial, “The Hollow Cry of Broke,” addressed one of the current GOP excuses for attacking union’s bargaining power, viz. the hideous budget deficits.  The Times editorial points to GOP politicians from House Speaker Boehner to rightwing Governors such as Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and New Jersey’s Chris Christie who are crying “Broke!”  The Times countered with: [Here]
It’s all obfuscating nonsense, of course, a scare tactic employed for political ends. A country with a deficit is not necessarily any more “broke” than a family with a mortgage or a college loan...Though it may disappoint many conservatives, there will be no federal or state bankruptcies.
The federal deficit is too large for comfort, and most states are struggling to balance their books. Some of that is because of excessive spending, and much is because the recession has driven down tax revenues. But a substantial part was caused by deliberate decisions by state and federal lawmakers to drain government of resources by handing out huge tax cuts, mostly to the rich.
In other words, Wisconsin’s economic woes were a Walker-imposed hardship.  (When I served on a Planning Board some years ago, we called such situations “self-imposed hardships" and this is what Gov. Scott Walker seems to specialize in.)
Surprisingly, another voice heard from this week has been that of Charles Koch, David’s brother, the Chairman and CEO of the family business.  Charles usually sits in his office, away from the public, running the business while brother David is the public face of Koch Industries.  An Op-Ed piece, under the name of Charles, appeared in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal. [Here]  (I’m certain that this was carefully written by a Koch Industries handpicked group of experts to counteract the very bad publicity that brother David got last week with the phony Walker/Koch telephone hoax.)
Whoever wrote the column, it certainly comes with the full approval of the brothers Koch.  The message is clear: “Crony capitalism” and “bloated” government are stopping business from producing goods and services that make folks‘ lives better.  So, cut state and federal spending and the economy will be healthy again.  
End of Story.  Only we know it would be the beginning of the further dismantling of the America we have known.
I’m feeling a “full-court press” from the right-wing, aren’t you?
The House Republicans have passed a slew of bills that won’t get Senate passage and, if they somehow got thru the Senate, they would most probably be vetoed by Obama.  Here’s a partial list from DownWithTyranny: [Here]
• Cut $1.1 billion from Head Start depriving services for 218,000 children.
• Cut $1.3 billion for Social Security [Administration] delaying benefits for 500,000 Americans.
• Slash $1.3 billion from community health centers taking primary health care from 11 million patients.
• Reduce or eliminate Pell Grants for 9.4 million low-income college students.
• Cut $405 million from Community Services Block Grants affecting 20 million seniors, families with children and the disabled.
In short, cut government services to the most vulnerable, the poorest and the most in need.  But Never, Never, Never raise taxes on the rich.
Got those stout marching shoes ready?....

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