Wednesday, February 06, 2013

The GOP Mission to Destroy Middle Class America

Two things are striking about today's GOP: (1) it seems determined to destroy middle class America and (2) its hypocrisy knows no limits.  Estimates are that if the scheduled sequestration cuts kick in, one million jobs will be lost.  That's one million families that will suddenly be faced with financial uncertainty and the prospects of losing their homes and/or their life savings.  Does anyone in the GOP seem to give a rat's ass about these families and employees?  Apparently not.  Then there's the unbridled hypocrisy of a political party that makes great show of supporting "family values" and "Christian values," values that one would think would include care and concern about the welfare of families and children not to mention the Gospel message that to be a follower of Christ one doesn't hoard riches while others go hungry, naked or homeless.  The true GOP agenda is the antithesis of the social message/policy advocated by Christ.  Yet in the bizarre world of the GOP and its Christofascist base, the road to Heaven is based on hate: hatred of gays, hatred of the poor, hatred of minorities, and the subjugation of women.  A piece in The Daily Beast looks at the ugly agenda of the GOP.  Here are excerpts:

We’re less than a month away now from the sequester, the beginning of the deep budget cuts that will kick in automatically if President Obama and Congress don’t come to a budget deal. I have a news flash for you: There is not going to be any deal in the next 25 days. And here’s another news flash: In the Republican tug-of-war between those who want to protect the Pentagon and those who want to cut spending and damn the consequences, it’s looking like the latter are winning. If they get their way, it’s also almost certain that the austerity the cuts induce will cost a lot of jobs and hurt the economy. So the only thing for Barack Obama to do now is start agitating to make sure the American public blames the right culpable party here.

Austerity, in difficult economic times, which these still are, is never good. Anything that takes money out of the economy isn’t good. This is the great paradox of the Republican position that “we” have to learn to live within our means. There’s never been more insidious nonsense put about the land. The only thing severe cutbacks would do is put the recovery at risk.
A New York Times editorial Monday noted that at least a million jobs might be lost, according to a Congressional Budget Office report, if the sequester cuts go into effect. To give you a point of comparison, the economy created 2.2 million jobs last year. And it was a decent year, no better. Imagine subtracting a million to 1.4 million from whatever positive number we get this year. That’s a pretty devastating hit.
Right now, though, it sounds as if that’s where the GOP wants to take us. .  .  .  .  This is an important change in momentum.

There’s something quite amusing about this, as Forbes’s Loren Thompson wrote yesterday. In allowing these defense cuts to go through, Republicans would be harming their own constituents, because there are considerably more military bases and supply depots and the like in red states than in blue states. Thompson noted that there are two bases in Mulvaney’s district where thousands of employees could be furloughed or fired.  .  .  .  .   they know better, but they figure well, if the economy does tank because of our collective stupid action, Obama’s the president, he’ll get the blame.

[W]hat I would love more than anything is to see Obama go down to Mulvaney’s district in South Carolina and several other districts like it and say that if these cuts go through, it’s going to have a serious negative impact on the local economy.  Ideally, of course, there might be some kind of agreement, which I say not for anyone’s political sake but for the sake of America’s workers and the economy. The effect of these cuts would be real and bad. If nothing else, the best Obama can do is make sure that the American people know who’s at fault when the economy does tank. Not the loftiest aspiration, but it’s hard to be lofty when you’re being dragged through the sewer.

As I have noted before, the GOP began its descent into insanity when it allowed the Christofascists to begin to take over the grass roots of the party.  This point cannot be hammered home enough.  The hate, greed and bigotry track directly to the far right Christians who make the Pharisees of the Bible look like wonderfully nice people in comparison.  In today's America, anyone proclaiming the Christianity and wearing faux religiosity on their sleeves ought to send rational, decent, caring people running and screaming. 

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