A PROGRESSIVE VOICE FROM THE LLANO ESTACADO

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

GOP Wages War On America's Future

I have posted many times that the Republican Party doesn't care about any American citizens except for the rich (and the corporations, which they happily bestow citizenship rights on). This has most recently been exemplified by the GOP's war on women -- where they oppose the right of a woman to control her own body, to have equal pay, to have free and easy access to contraception, and to have access to health care. But that is far from the only "war" the Republicans have declared on American citizens.

They have declared war on workers -- by opposing increases in the minimum wage (and even the very existence of it), by acting to oppose and destroy unions, by suppressing wages for workers (while profits for owners soar), by opposing safety in the workplace laws, by refusing to extend unemployment benefits, by supporting the outsourcing of jobs, and by opposing all efforts to pass a job creation program by government. These things may hurt millions of Americans, but they benefit the Republican's corporate masters.

They have declared war on the environment -- by supporting the increased and continued use of carbon-based fuels (including coal, the dirtiest of these fuels), by allowing energy producers to avoid complying with environmental laws, by opposing any effort to curb global climate change, by supporting "fracking" to produce more natural gas, by cutting funds for the EPA's enforcement of laws, by supporting corporate use and exploitation of government land, and by encouraging corporations to continue to pollute the country's water and air.

They have declared war on the poor and elderly -- by voting to abolish Medicare, by trying to privatize Social Security or cut its benefits, by opposing the very concept of decent health care for all, by cutting SNAP (food stamp programs), and by slashing funding for all programs that help poor, disadvantaged, or disabled Americans.

But perhaps the most short-sighted and pernicious of all the GOP wars is the war they have declared on America's children. As we can see from the graphic above, the latest Republican budget plan (Ryan Plan) would cut funds to give free school lunches for children, would reduce or eliminate SNAP food assistance for families with about 22 million children, would cut tax credits for low-wage families with another 5.5 million children, would cut money for child care, would cut funds for protective services and abuse prevention for children, and would cut funds for the foster care of children.

And this doesn't include the substantial cuts for education both at the federal and state level (my own state of Texas has cut $5 billion in education funds, even though they already had the lowest per pupil funding of any state). Or the further cuts in social programs made by all states with Republican leadership. It doesn't take a genius to know that the children are the future of this country, which means by cutting food, care, and education for children, they are putting the very future of our nation at risk.

Why would the Republicans wage all these wars (not to mention wars on minorities, immigrants, homosexuals, and the middle class)? Simply put, it is because the Republicans don't care about anyone but the rich and the corporations. As long as this year's bottom line is profitable for the rich and corporations (and they don't have to pay taxes on it), that is all they care about. They don't even think about the future, the country, or its citizens.

The Republicans talk a lot about democracy, but they really don't want it. What they want, and constantly work for, is plutocracy -- rule by the wealthy class. And they are very close to achieving that. They talk of class warfare, but there is no such thing happening. It needs to happen though. The public needs to defend themselves against all the wars the Republicans have declared on nearly all American citizens.

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