Why I Hate Everybody Rant: Part II

12 Mar

Now, where were we?  Ah yes, I have already covered the part where I think Democrats are whiny, spoiled and fiscally incompetent.

Now on to Republicans (this is the part where my dad disowns me).

The Pubs have, in the past, had a reputation for this longstanding mantra of conservative fiscal responsibility.  If you believe that this still holds true, then you have had your head in the sand, my friend.

They are still pushing a financial agenda, and pushing it hard.  But it’s not a smart one, a responsible one, or even a conservative one.  The goal seems to be entirely to take from the people who need it, and hand it directly over to the people who don’t.  Republicans right now are the ultimate Anti-Robin Hoods.

Federal Budget Cuts

Republicans have held firm to their requirement that the government reel in its out-of-control spending.  An admirable initiative – like I said, we have to CUT STUFF.  But look at what they’re cutting…

Here are 70 programs that are in line for the guillotine, according to the list unveiled by Representative Hal Rogers, Chairman of the House appropriations committee.  Take a quick gander through this list.

  1. Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies -$30M
  2. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy -$899M
  3. Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability -$49M
  4. Nuclear Energy -$169M
  5. Fossil Energy Research -$31M
  6. Clean Coal Technology -$18M
  7. Strategic Petroleum Reserve -$15M
  8. Energy Information Administration -$34M
  9. Office of Science -$1.1B
  10. Power Marketing Administrations -$52M
  11. Department of Treasury -$268M
  12. Internal Revenue Service -$593M
  13. Treasury Forfeiture Fund -$338M
  14. GSA Federal Buildings Fund -$1.7B
  15. ONDCP -$69M
  16. International Trade Administration -$93M
  17. Economic Development Assistance -$16M
  18. Minority Business Development Agency -$2M
  19. National Institute of Standards and Technology -$186M
  20. NOAA -$336M
  21. National Drug Intelligence Center -$11M
  22. Law Enforcement Wireless Communications -$52M
  23. US Marshals Service -$10M
  24. FBI -$74M
  25. State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance -$256M
  26. Juvenile Justice -$2.3M
  27. COPS -$600M
  28. NASA -$379M
  29. NSF -$139M
  30. Legal Services Corporation -$75M
  31. EPA -$1.6B
  32. Food Safety and Inspection Services -$53M
  33. Farm Service Agency -$201M
  34. Agriculture Research -$246M
  35. Natural Resource Conservation Service -$46M
  36. Rural Development Programs -$237M
  37. WIC -$758M
  38. International Food Aid grants -$544M
  39. FDA -$220M
  40. Land and Water Conservation Fund -$348M
  41. National Archives and Record Service -$20M
  42. DOE Loan Guarantee Authority -$1.4B
  43. EPA ENERGY STAR -$7.4M
  44. EPA GHG Reporting Registry -$9M
  45. USGS -$27M
  46. EPA Cap and Trade Technical Assistance -$5M
  47. EPA State and Local Air Quality Management -$25M
  48. Fish and Wildlife Service -$72M
  49. Smithsonian -$7.3M
  50. National Park Service -$51M
  51. Clean Water State Revolving Fund -$700M
  52. Drinking Water State Revolving Fund -$250M
  53. EPA Brownfields -$48M
  54. Forest Service -$38M
  55. National Endowment for the Arts -$6M
  56. National Endowment for the Humanities -$6M
  57. Job Training Programs -$2B
  58. Community Health Centers -$1.3B
  59. Maternal and Child Health Block Grants -$210M
  60. Family Planning -$327M
  61. Poison Control Centers -$27M
  62. CDC -$755M
  63. NIH -$1B
  64. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services -$96M
  65. LIHEAP Contingency fund -$400M
  66. Community Services Block Grant -$405M
  67. High Speed Rail -$1B
  68. FAA Next Gen -$234M
  69. Amtrak -$224M
  70. HUD Community Development Fund -$530M

I don’t know about you, but I see a list that takes a lot of money away from:

  • programs that help the poor
  • law enforcement
  • programs that protect our food, our health and our lives
  • programs that aid our children
  • programs that invest in our future

Now, it’s difficult to determine the actual impact of these cuts, since amounts given are proposed against Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget request (which was never taken up by Congress) and not against current federal government funding levels. But make no mistake, in the Republicans’ attempt to squeeze blood out of a turnip, they have made cuts are going to be PAINFUL for the US in a lot of different ways.

All told, the above list totals about $23 billion in cuts.  Lots of programs that benefit the country are on the table, and the majority of them focus on initiatives that could grow the economy, rather than reducing waste.  Two areas that are NOT on the table, at least as far as mainstream republicans are concerned:

  1. Military defense spending
  2. Tax breaks

These two areas are the sacred cows of Republican thinking.  But they should be the answers to our substantial financial crisis.

ve-military-spending

The United States spends $711 billion on military spending each year, representing 48 percent of the total military spending in the world.

Military Defense Spending

The US spends more on its military than the rest of the world COMBINED.  That’s not just excessive. It’s absurd.  Especially when you consider that instead of paying our bills and taking care of our country’s needs, we are funding military programs that are obsolete, ineffective and wasteful.

“To amass military power without regard to our economic capacity would be to defend ourselves against one kind of disaster by inviting another,”

-US President Dwight D. Eisenhower

If we cut just 4% of our military budget, we would save over $28 BILLION, with cuts that have nowhere near the negative impact on citizens that the $23 billion above have.  But how could we possibly cut our military budget???  Well, here are a few easy places to start:


Tax Breaks

The administration recently caved and extended a lot of the Bush tax cuts, which Republicans applauded.  After all, Lower Taxes! has been their battle cry for how many years now.

While I can understand efforts to jump-start the economy, this was a very costly move that sacrificed a lot of income for the government.  And frankly, a lot of it came from people who didn’t necessarily need the tax breaks.

For years, I’ve heard the lines about how the top 20% of income earners pay 80% of taxes, and how UNFAIR this is, so stop trying to squeeze more money out of those poor rich people! I know Rush Limbaugh is a big fan of this “statistic,” and I’ve heard it echoed by other Republicans throughout the years as well.

Well I call shenanigans.

It’s true, the top 20% of income earners pay 80% of the taxes.  Because they make 90% of the money.

Actually, 80% is a darn good deal.  Especially when you consider that the wealthy are allowed so many deductions and tax shelters that they usually pay a lower percentage of tax than the middle class.  Show me a billionaire who actually pays 35% of his income in tax, and I will show you someone who doesn’t have an accountant.

In fact, the Urban Institute found last year that raising the capital gains tax for wealthy Americans from 15 to 20.6 percent would reduce the deficit to 3 percent of GDP.  Right now, it’s about 10%.

Our country is in financial distress, yet we cut money that helps people find jobs and become productive members of society, in order to keep handing out tax breaks to the wealthy and large corporations who need it the least.  Why?

It has nothing to do with “trickle down” theory, which is basically the idea that if you feed a horse enough oats, he’ll crap more and then all the birds and flies that eat his poop will profit.  Trickle down, or “horse and sparrow” is largely ineffective and has been termed by Ross Perot as “political voodoo” because in general, the money never finds its way down to the bottom of the totem pole.  Instead (again, generally speaking), you just get executives with more vacations, fancier cars and bigger retirement plans.

So again, WHY do Republicans keep insisting on these Anti-Robin Hood methods?

It has everything to do with money.  But nothing to do with the budget.  Companies and individuals who have the most money fund the campaigns and get people elected who will cater to them.  Supporting policies that aren’t to the clear advantage of the corporate and wealthy means the end of your career.  It’s Democracy at its best.  Or something.

And here’s where it has gotten us:

Infographic via Center for American Progress

Social Injustice

This “Class War” as some have termed it, is extending down into the State level as well.  Just recently, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has implemented a $1.7 billion tax hike… but only on the elderly and poor people.  The same amount of money will be directly handed over to corporate special interests.

And now our children’s future is under attack.  As a parent, this infuriates me.

  • Kentucky, Wisconsin and other states are cutting huge amounts of school funding to offset budget deficits.
  • State legislatures in Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Indiana are among those considering new bills that would eliminate or severely curtail teachers’ collective bargaining rights in negotiating contracts.
  • Wyoming lawmakers are entertaining a measure to end teacher tenure, which would allow the immediate suspension or firing of teachers for any reason not expressly prohibited by law.
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie recently skipped a $3.1 billion payment to the state’s pension system as part of an effort to cut benefits for public workers, and some conservative lobbying groups are suggesting that states be allowed to declare bankruptcy to escape their debt—including, of course, their obligations to state pension plans.
  • Missouri has recently introduced a bill to eliminate child labor laws.

And in a slightly related topic, in some sort of attempt to cut funding for abortions, Republicans offered a bill with language that attempted to narrow the definition of rape.  While I am opposed to abortion, and thereby sympathize with the idea that my tax dollars shouldn’t pay for it, I see no reason to draw some kind of unnecessary line between “rape” and “forcible rape.”  It serves no purpose other than moving toward making “un-forcible rape” more socially acceptable in some context.  Fortunately, after significant national criticism, Republicans dropped the offending language.

However, shortly thereafter, Republican State Representative of Georgia Bobby Franklin introduced legislation that would change the language in a rape trial.  The rape “victim” would be relabeled as the “accuser.”  Because we don’t want to coddle all those pesky women who have had their lives violently interrupted and their rights dismantled by allowing them to be called “victims,” until the court has finished deciding that there was actually a crime. Of course, victims of other less gendered crimes, like burglary, would still remain “victims” from the start.

What is wrong with this picture???

In short, while the Democrats can be whiny and incompetent, Republican politicians are proving themselves to be a**holes, determined to attack the citizens that make up this country and drive our stability and future into the ground.  Auctioning off their souls to the highest bidder.

I think I want to start my own political party.  Circus clowns, conspiracy mongers or people who lack discretion need not apply.  Same goes for people who are willing to be pushed around by an agenda that puts a price on common sense and responsibility. Unfortunately, that probably means that my party will be very, very small.

And now you know why I hate everybody.


 
  1. Katie M

    March 13, 2011 at 8:26 am

    I would join that party.

     
  2. Samantha R

    March 13, 2011 at 8:26 am

    I want to join your political party! It could be called “Short Women for American Common Sense.” Or something totally different.

     
  3. Grandpa

    March 14, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Well, I read it …………….please be aware that all Republicans are not as sinister as you may think – Love you – Dad

     
    • Amy

      March 14, 2011 at 6:35 pm

      I tend to think there’s a big difference between Republican voters and Republican politicians. This political rant was mostly aimed at the politicians, the people making these decisions and poor choices at the expense of American citizens. I think Republican politics trends toward manipulation, fear tactics and corruption disguised behind a facade of morality.

      Most Republican voters I know are honest, hardworking people who don’t cheat on their wives. They care about their neighbors and donate a lot of their time and money to help out those in need. They are generous, loyal, trusting, and don’t expect handouts. I just wish they had better politicians to represent them.

       
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